Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Seek or Show: Two Design Paradigms for Lots of Data

Two primary ways to display large amounts of data ...

"Here are two design paradigms for handling large amounts of data, not to be confused (or combined) as web design meets desktop in rich Internet applications. This would seem self explanatory, except that the Seek (Search) paradigm is typically used in web sites, and the Show (View Based Lists) paradigm exists mainly in desktop applications. So the challenge arises when a RIA requires one of the Show patterns, but we only have Seek patterns documented for use on the web.

The Seek Paradigm: Have the user ask for what they want

This paradigm lets users go directly to the information they are seeking, rather than having to scan through all the data upfront. There are many variations on the search pattern used across the web. I have shown 7 common patterns below.

... 01. Simple Search/ Results as List

Free form text field for entering search terms. Results displayed integrated or on a results page.

... 02. Simple Search/ Results with Refine & Sort Options

... 03. Simple Search/ Grouped Results

... The Show Paradigm: Display everything up front, and let the user explore and organize it

This paradigm has existed in desktop applications since the first GUI. It may also contain a search feature, but the primary focus of the interface is to allow for optimal viewing and organization of the full set of data. Here are 3 common patterns."    (Continued via Theresaneil’s Weblog)    [Usability Resources]

Simple Search / Results As List - Usability, User Interface Design

Simple Search / Results As List


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