assigning multiple items to multiple items

8 Sep 2008 - 1:44pm
6 years ago
6 replies
697 reads
mtumi
2004

Hi -

I'm looking for a way to assign a small number of multiple items (say
1-5) to a large number of multiple items (say 150).

So I might want to assign small list items 1 to big list items 1-50,
small list items 2 and 3 to big items 51-100 and small list items 1
and 2 to big list items 101-150. Then you can ostensibly go back and
select item 49, or items 49-67 and change their assignment of items in
the small list.

looking at a list menu and a list of checkboxes right now, but
wondering if anyone has dealt with a similar problem and come up with
a nice solution for it.

thanks -

MT

Comments

8 Sep 2008 - 3:38pm
Hugh Griffith
2007

Hi Michael,

I'm not sure I completely understand you. Is this what you're trying to
describe?

Let's say you have two bookshelves—A and B. You want to be able to take
books from shelf A, and place them in shelf B. You want to be able to move
multiple books at one time. You also want the ability to rearrange the books
on shelf B.

If so, I tried to solve this problem once too. You can read about my
solutions here <http://interactionhero.com/articles/create-and-sort-a-list>.

Hope that helps!

Hugh

On Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 1:44 PM, Michael Tuminello <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:

> Hi -
>
> I'm looking for a way to assign a small number of multiple items (say 1-5)
> to a large number of multiple items (say 150).
>
> So I might want to assign small list items 1 to big list items 1-50, small
> list items 2 and 3 to big items 51-100 and small list items 1 and 2 to big
> list items 101-150. Then you can ostensibly go back and select item 49, or
> items 49-67 and change their assignment of items in the small list.
>
> looking at a list menu and a list of checkboxes right now, but wondering if
> anyone has dealt with a similar problem and come up with a nice solution for
> it.
>
> thanks -
>
> MT
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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>

--
Hugh Griffith
User Interface Designer

8 Sep 2008 - 7:48pm
mtumi
2004

wow - thanks everyone for your responses. I didn't expect so many so
fast. all the responses were interesting.

I guess my explanation was not very clear. I'll try again.

I have a long list of items (list A) each of which can use a short
list of items (list B), either singularly or more than one. the
problem is assigning one or more items in list B to one or more items
in list A. and then you have to account for going back and selecting
multiple items in list A and indicating which items in list B belong
to them even when they may have different assignments.

I am now leaning toward displaying all the items in list B for each
item in list A with checkboxes even though there is a lot of
redundancy in the display, like this, because at least there is no
confusion about which items in list B belong to list A and it is still
relatively quick to select list B items even though you can't make
multiple assignments at once.

Item A1
[checkbox] item B1
[checkbox] item B2
[checkbox] item B3
Item A2
[checkbox] item B1
[checkbox] item B2
[checkbox] item B3
Item A3
[checkbox] item B1
[checkbox] item B2
[checkbox] item B3
Item A4
[checkbox] item B1
[checkbox] item B2
[checkbox] item B3
...

2nd runner up was a checkbox display for the items in list B that
would show [-] when incompatible selections were made (selected for
some) rather than [x] (selected for all), or [ ] (selected for none).

Anyone who has read this far gets a gold star!

Anyway, if anyone has any OTHER suggestions, let me know...

thanks again to everyone who responded so far.

Michael

8 Sep 2008 - 8:37pm
Eric Scheid
2006

On 9/9/08 11:48 AM, "Michael Tuminello" <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:

> Anyway, if anyone has any OTHER suggestions, let me know...

How about something a little more interactive? On the left hand side you'd
have your list of container items, and on the right hand side a list of your
component items. Put them into a select lists, scrolling if necessary. In
between you'd put a button to add the selected component items on the right
into the selected container items on the left, and a button to remove the
selected components from the left. If multiple components are selected when
the user hits the 'add' button, they all get added, if multiple containers
are selected when they hit 'add' then the selected component(s) get added
into each of the containers (multiple into multiple, woot!). Dynamically
disable the add/remove buttons depending on whether they have selected
appropriate things (including looking for already added items and also
inappropriate items).

This would be a variation on this pattern:

http://www.welie.com/patterns/showPattern.php?patternID=parts-selector

Start the widget off with at least one container item on the left selected,
let them select multiple on either side, and for the love of dog please do
some usability testing ;-)

e.

8 Sep 2008 - 11:13pm
mtumi
2004

what's more interactive than a checkbox? ;-)

thanks

On Sep 8, 2008, at 10:37 PM, Eric Scheid wrote:

> On 9/9/08 11:48 AM, "Michael Tuminello" <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:
>
>> Anyway, if anyone has any OTHER suggestions, let me know...
>
> How about something a little more interactive? On the left hand side
> you'd
> have your list of container items, and on the right hand side a list
> of your
> component items. Put them into a select lists, scrolling if
> necessary. In
> between you'd put a button to add the selected component items on
> the right
> into the selected container items on the left, and a button to
> remove the
> selected components from the left. If multiple components are
> selected when
> the user hits the 'add' button, they all get added, if multiple
> containers
> are selected when they hit 'add' then the selected component(s) get
> added
> into each of the containers (multiple into multiple, woot!).
> Dynamically
> disable the add/remove buttons depending on whether they have selected
> appropriate things (including looking for already added items and also
> inappropriate items).
>
> This would be a variation on this pattern:
>
> http://www.welie.com/patterns/showPattern.php?patternID=parts-selector
>
> Start the widget off with at least one container item on the left
> selected,
> let them select multiple on either side, and for the love of dog
> please do
> some usability testing ;-)
>
>
> e.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

8 Sep 2008 - 11:38pm
Eric Scheid
2006

On 9/9/08 3:13 PM, "Michael Tuminello" <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:

> what's more interactive than a checkbox? ;-)

In Russia, checkbox click you!

e.

10 Sep 2008 - 2:22pm
Anonymous

Is assignment an issue or displaying list items?

For your display - Did you consider showing selections the other way around; small lists to include large lists? In your example it would be

B1 - A1, A2, A4, A6 - A28

B2 - A3, A4, A6 - A28, A30 - A49

B3 - A30 - A49, A51, A 52

.....and so on

Here are two examples on assigning items:

Solution 1: not the best of the lot, but makes selection easier (cherry picking items). Tedious as you have to make multiple selections from a huge list quite a few times.

Solution 2: Makes selection a lot easier, users can manually type in List A items for each List B item; similar to printing pages in a Word doc (printer settings). If you are concerned about typos etc, you can also provide a feature that will allow users to cherry pick items (list selection box).

Thanks,

Amit

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