Design patterns for parametric comparisons

26 Jul 2004 - 1:04pm
10 years ago
2 replies
794 reads
Sean King
2004

Hi Everyone,
 
Long time lurker, first time writing.

I'm currently working on a project that requires
sorting and comparison of multiple parameters
associated to each product served up in a search
results page and I would love to get some opinions
from this community.

In my particular industry, the standard display for
this type of information is to display all of the
results in a sortable table, giving the user ability
to sort each column. IMO, the table seems a little
unwieldy and the results can be better accomplished
through a different interface that is closer to
ecommerce site patterns in place today.

I found one variation at c|net, where the Shopper.com
interface utilizes a filter function on the left hand
paired with a sort by box at the top. I'm currently
working on creating a wireframe around this idea, but
I'm wondering if other people have come across this
problem and have different design patterns they use.

I also have to ask, where is the line between
conventions of an ecommerce site like Amazon or
Shopper.com that is much more established and the
standard seemingly adopted by the entire industry for
a sortable table. Am I shooting myself in the foot by
not going with the flow here?

Thank you for your time in responding,

-Sean King

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Comments

27 Jul 2004 - 3:33am
Pierre Abel
2004

Hi,

We've come across a similar problem recently. What we decided to do is
to keep the sortable table to display the result(it is extremely useful
and fast to use), and provide the user with efficient tools to
accomplish his search.
In our case, we provide the user with the following tools :
- a bar on the left that display a tree that organize all the elements
with predefined categories (by type, by status,...) ; at bootstrap, the
root of the tree is selected and thus the result set contains all
elements available in the system.
-on top of the sortable table, we add tools to narrow the search (like
in Mozilla Mail): a simple search box that allow to filter the result
currently displayed in the table. By default, the filtering is done on
all parameters but the user can select (via a drop down box) on the
parameters to use . In addition, we add specific drop down box that
contains predefined filter that are heavily used (in our case,eg
"elements created last 2 days")

So,as you can see ,no revolution here, but it works great for 90% of
user tasks we have defined (for the other ones there is an advanced
search ;-)) The key is too define the category and predefined request
according to user tasks.
Hope it gives you ideas!

Pierre Abel

Sean King wrote:

>Hi Everyone,
>
>Long time lurker, first time writing.
>
>I'm currently working on a project that requires
>sorting and comparison of multiple parameters
>associated to each product served up in a search
>results page and I would love to get some opinions
>from this community.
>
>In my particular industry, the standard display for
>this type of information is to display all of the
>results in a sortable table, giving the user ability
>to sort each column. IMO, the table seems a little
>unwieldy and the results can be better accomplished
>through a different interface that is closer to
>ecommerce site patterns in place today.
>
>I found one variation at c|net, where the Shopper.com
>interface utilizes a filter function on the left hand
>paired with a sort by box at the top. I'm currently
>working on creating a wireframe around this idea, but
>I'm wondering if other people have come across this
>problem and have different design patterns they use.
>
>I also have to ask, where is the line between
>conventions of an ecommerce site like Amazon or
>Shopper.com that is much more established and the
>standard seemingly adopted by the entire industry for
>a sortable table. Am I shooting myself in the foot by
>not going with the flow here?
>
>Thank you for your time in responding,
>
>-Sean King
>
>
>
>
>

27 Jul 2004 - 7:18pm
Josh Seiden
2003

Welcome to the list, Sean. Thanks for posting.

Can you be more specific about the nature of the
parameters? The comparison mechanism should reflect the
nature of the value(s) being compared.

Also, can you be more specific about the goals of the
comparison? Depending on the nature of the goal, you
may be able to guide yourself to the correct comparison
idiom.

JS

 
> Long time lurker, first time writing.
>
> I'm currently working on a project that requires
> sorting and comparison of multiple parameters
> associated to each product served up in a search
> results page and I would love to get some opinions
> from this community.
>

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