I've written a small desktop app that searches for duplicate files (by content) in one folder or more and lets the user open each file or delete it using a context menu.
The problem I face now is how to display the data to the user in an organized and structured way so he'll know his way around the files (could be hundreds or even more).
I was thinking about two ways:

  • Data grid - It could've been nice if I was displaying only one file from each folder so each column would contain data regarding a single folder, however I couldn't think of a way to handle multiple files in the same folder
  • Tree view - It seems to be more organized so that each group of duplicates would be represented in a node but I really dislike these long trees and also, since none of the files is the more important than the others I can't decide which one would be to node's root
  • Users are used to seeing files in tree view. But for this a grid may be better. Mock it up both ways and ask users.
    – paparazzo
    Oct 2, 2016 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


There are several file duplicate finding and deleting apps available for both majors (PC and Mac). Get your hands on ALL of them, and try them all. This is the single most important thing to do when entering an existing field of endeavour... to absolutely understand all competitors better than they all understand each other.

Spend a good deal of time using them all. Write massive notes of your first impressions upon booting and using each, and note each and every discovery and experience you have, like a stream of consciousness. If you can stomach recording your vocal articulation of these experiences, this is the fastest way to do it. Take lots of screenshots along with your audio notes, perhaps even record the screen activity as video whilst doing this.

Then, once you've tried all the major contenders, start using them, for extended sessions, and come to know them well. All of them.

Once you have this knowledge, take the very best approaches from each, and remove all the negative aspects in whatever functionality you're creating that's also in their's.

Make yours the best of the lot, for the subset of functionality it has.

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