Advice on displaying large lists within a tree?

31 Oct 2008 - 8:48am
6 years ago
5 replies
810 reads
russwilson
2005

We have a situation where our users will be selecting items to add to atree
that could get very large (e.g. >5000) and I'm wondering if anyone has
an elegant solution for displaying the tree.

+ Root Node
+ Node1 (300 items)
- Node2 (5670 items)
item1
item2
...
item5670

This would require significant scrolling and may be a performance issue as
well.

We are considering pagination as well as separating the contents of the
nodes from
the nodes themselves (two separate controls).

Any thoughts appreciated!

Russ

Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com

Comments

31 Oct 2008 - 9:06am
Alvin Woon
2007

depending on how the list of items is sorted, you can try using 'grouping'.
it may demand too many extra clicks from users but i think you can find a
favorable solution if you combine grouping with pagination.

(assuming the list is sorted by numbers)
+ Root Node
+ Node1 (300 items)
- Node2 (5670 items)
item1-1000
item1001-2000
...
item5670

another solution that you might want to look into is changing the way items
are displayed: try using multicolumns.
+ Root Node
+ Node1 (300 items)
- Node2 (5670 items)
item1 item2 item3 item4....
item10 item11 item13 item14...

and of course, for a UI that needs to display thousands of items, search is
your best friend, as far as the end user is concerned. =)

On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 10:48 AM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:

> We have a situation where our users will be selecting items to add to atree
> that could get very large (e.g. >5000) and I'm wondering if anyone has
> an elegant solution for displaying the tree.
>
> + Root Node
> + Node1 (300 items)
> - Node2 (5670 items)
> item1
> item2
> ...
> item5670
>
> This would require significant scrolling and may be a performance issue as
> well.
>
> We are considering pagination as well as separating the contents of the
> nodes from
> the nodes themselves (two separate controls).
>
> Any thoughts appreciated!
>
> Russ
>
>
>
> Russell Wilson
> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

31 Oct 2008 - 9:57am
Terry Fitzgerald
2008

>
> and of course, for a UI that needs to display thousands of items, search is
> your best friend, as far as the end user is concerned. =)
>
> Interesting you should mention search because we ae looking at the problem
> of too many results to display from a search so
>
in our case search is not our best friend it is the root of our potential
probkem.

Anyone with ideas on how to manage the display of high volumes of search
results would be appreciated

>
>
> --
> Regards
>

> Terry Fitzgerald
>
Senior Product Designer
Open Text Corporation

>
> http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_side_pro
>

31 Oct 2008 - 10:21am
bminihan
2007

It seems like the interaction you're talking about is "adding items
to a tree", and "displaying the tree" is a sub-component of that.
It's hard to know what to recommend without knowing what benefit they
get from seeing the whole tree while they're adding to it, but
here's what I assumed from your premise:

Folks (your users) are compiling an organized collection of items
from manually-entered records (say, compiling a database of phone
records, organized by country, state, city, and zip, for instance).
OR, they're searching for documents, and "building a tree" from
the results, into a taxonomy for later use by themselves or others.

In the above scenario, viewing the entire tree seems less important
to the data-entry folks - as just knowing that their record was added
to the tree, and where it was added (so they know it was added to the
right place).

In that case, for these people, it seems like you can omit most of
the child-records from the tree-view, and just display the nodes
above the records, to represent where they are, where they will be
adding records, and where their record was just added, as in:

Root Node
Node1(300 items)
Node2(5200 items)
[New Record]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=35117

31 Oct 2008 - 10:23am
bminihan
2007

Whoops...an errant less-than sign truncated my reply, here's another
go at it (continued from "Root Node" above):

Root Node
---- Node1(300 items)
---- Node2(5200 items)
--------[New Record] !!!You are here!!!
---- Node3(12000 items)

I think you only need to display as much of the tree as necessary to
indicate the above three states. Any more and it may confuse your
data-entry people.

If you're trying to tackle how to display the tree to folks who are
*browsing it*, that's a different story. Factiva and other search
engines represent large organized taxonomies with filters and
navigators that represent the meta "tree" in the right column with
a small widget, while they display the individual items as a
paginated search-results view in the main body of the document.

Separating the item-display from your taxonomy navigation helps avoid
those UI problems where you're 15 levels down in a
stair-case-displayed tree and you've run out of room for more than
20 characters for each item.

As mentioned, my assumptions above may be WAY off of what you're
trying to do. In case they aren't, I hope the above helps.

-- Bryan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=35117

31 Oct 2008 - 8:06pm
russwilson
2005

Thanks to all for the great replies.

One key piece of the puzzle that I omitted (apologies) is that the key use
of the tree
will be to browse or scan large hierarchical data sets *without* the user
knowing an
appropriate filter or search phrase to use. That is, they really need to be
able to
scan the data to find what they want. Does that make sense?

This is why we can't rely on filtering/search (although we do provide it).

Thanks again.

Russ

Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com

On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 11:23 AM, Bryan Minihan <bjminihan at nc.rr.com> wrote:

> Whoops...an errant less-than sign truncated my reply, here's another
> go at it (continued from "Root Node" above):
>
> Root Node
> ---- Node1(300 items)
> ---- Node2(5200 items)
> --------[New Record] !!!You are here!!!
> ---- Node3(12000 items)
>
> I think you only need to display as much of the tree as necessary to
> indicate the above three states. Any more and it may confuse your
> data-entry people.
>
> If you're trying to tackle how to display the tree to folks who are
> *browsing it*, that's a different story. Factiva and other search
> engines represent large organized taxonomies with filters and
> navigators that represent the meta "tree" in the right column with
> a small widget, while they display the individual items as a
> paginated search-results view in the main body of the document.
>
> Separating the item-display from your taxonomy navigation helps avoid
> those UI problems where you're 15 levels down in a
> stair-case-displayed tree and you've run out of room for more than
> 20 characters for each item.
>
> As mentioned, my assumptions above may be WAY off of what you're
> trying to do. In case they aren't, I hope the above helps.
>
> -- Bryan
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=35117
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

Syndicate content Get the feed