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#13 2011-11-12 18:46:54

masa
Member
From: Asturias, Spain
Registered: 2005-11-25
Posts: 1,091

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

Bloke wrote:

Has anyone had any thoughts on what I posted above? It’d be great to combine tjh_listfilter functionality and smd_browse_by somehow but I’d like some feedback / ideas / mockups on the best way to manage the functionality before I commit to anything.

I never used tjh_listfilter, because it only worked for articles. But preserving the state could be a helpful feature. I’d be happy to produce a mockup, but I’m not sure in what way the controls would need to look different from just the two selects we currently have.

Or perhaps I misunderstood you ?

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#14 2011-11-12 20:47:32

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,387
Website GitHub

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

masa wrote:

I’d be happy to produce a mockup, but I’m not sure in what way the controls would need to look different from just the two selects we currently have.

Many thanks for the offer. Here are the conundrums to solve:

A) For completeness, filtering shortcuts could (should?) apply to:

  • Category (all content types)
  • Author (all content types)
  • Section (just articles)
  • Status (articles, possibly files too)

But having up to 4 dropdowns across the top of the page might be deemed cluttered (it might not: discuss!)

So the first thing to decide is whether there is a better way to manage these <=4 filterable parameters while still retaining the goal of the plugin, which is rapid — preferably one-click — filtering of content. The only way I thought of was to utilise the existing ‘Search’ select list. For example, if you choose ‘Categories’ a select list appears alongside showing all categories. If you choose ‘Section’, a list of Sections appears instead. If you then choose a category/section/author/status from this second select list, your results are filtered imediately.

With this model you still retain the option to type a search term in the search box, but it requires two mouse clicks to filter anything compared to the one click it takes now. Alternatives welcome.

B) tjh_listfilter retains the search parameters even when you leave the tab and go somewhere else. So if you filtered by Category “foo” then visit the Images tab, then come back to the Articles tab you’d still see your list filtered by Category “foo”. To unfilter this list you would need to set the second dropdown back to the initial (empty) item, or choose a non-filterable option like ID and then submit the search. Is this good enough, or is it too confusing/awkward? Can it be made simpler somehow to ‘cancel’ your filter? The way to do it nowadays is to simply click the tab name again, because the search criteria are then lost.

Maybe a shortcut key or big red button or something is the way to go, but then there needs to be a way to communicate which keystroke to use or what the button does in the interface itself (primarily because pieman never reads my docs — and who can blame him! His point is that if the plugin is designed right, the docs should not be needed except for clarification or special use cases; and I agree).

So there you have it. Two interface design conundrums that I can’t solve easily, but I’m sure someone with more experience in this kind of thing can whip up in a jiffy and shine a torch into the cave for me.

Last edited by Bloke (2011-11-12 20:51:37)


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#15 2011-11-14 07:32:25

tye
Member
From: Pottsville, NSW
Registered: 2005-07-06
Posts: 858
Website

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

Hey Stef – I’ve just read I contributed somehow – cool – I’d better let the wife know :)

I was just using a Invision Power Services forum a few days ago and found this search functionality

In the search box – click where is says Gallery – its gives you search options. I have to admit – it is hidden, but that can be solved.

That could solve the clutter problem, and to be honest – 1 or 2 more click without a page refresh to find exactly what I am after is… the way the web seems to be going these days

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#16 2011-11-14 09:19:55

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,387
Website GitHub

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

tye wrote:

I’ve just read I contributed somehow

You put me on the road to including the callback so credit where credit’s due.

I was just using a Invision Power Services forum

I don’t have an account so I can’t see the link. I could register I suppose but it’s one more spam list to get off. Can you post / mail me a screenie or something please?

1 or 2 more click without a page refresh to find exactly what I am after is… the way the web seems to be going these days

True but in this case it would require a page refresh because of the paging system, content counts and the batch tools at the bottom of the list. Hence I’d like to minimise clicks if possible because of the inconvenient delay going back to the server.

Last edited by Bloke (2011-11-14 09:20:55)


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#17 2011-11-14 10:32:58

jakob
Admin
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 4,153
Website

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

I don’t have an account so I can’t see the link.

I also get the error but I think he meant the search box at the top right of the page with the “search-in” dropdown inside the search box (where it says “gallery”). This is a less neat version of a similar approach.


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#18 2011-11-14 10:47:56

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,387
Website GitHub

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

jakob wrote:

I think he meant the search box at the top right of the page

Got it, thanks. Missed that.

That’s quite neat. Not sure how to leverage it to enable people to pick items from a list though. Anyone any ideas on this theme?


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#19 2011-11-14 12:13:24

masa
Member
From: Asturias, Spain
Registered: 2005-11-25
Posts: 1,091

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

I really like the immediate action of the current selects: click, point, let go and you’re there. That needs to be preserved.

I’m not sure everybody would need all 4 selects in the articles tab, there could be spacing issues. Perhaps that could be made a preference setting.

After thinking about this for a while now, I think the logical place for the selects is right underneath the respective column label:

In the default state they read “Display all” and in the filtered state they display whatever you had chosen. I’d say, that should make it obvious enough for a user whether any filters are applied upon returning to the tab.

Last edited by masa (2011-11-14 12:14:18)

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#20 2011-11-14 12:31:23

joebaich
Member
From: DC Metro Area and elsewhere
Registered: 2006-09-24
Posts: 507
Website

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

Masa’s suggestion is much better than the one I was putting together so I binned it and would vote for his.

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#21 2011-11-14 12:33:10

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,387
Website GitHub

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

masa wrote:

I’m not sure everybody would need all 4 selects in the articles tab

The select lists available at the moment are configurable (albeit via a hidden pref right now) in the beta. I might expose that in a prefs page at some point, but it adds a lot of code overhead so I’ll leave it for now. When I add the new ones I’ll extend the prefs to include those so you can configure which ones you see.

I think the logical place for the selects is right underneath the respective column label

Brilliant. That’s so obvious I’m ashamed I never thought of it myself. If I can make them discreet enough it shouldn’t take up much vertical real estate and hopefully won’t look too odd if you only decide to permit filtering by one of the selects (imagine your mockup with only one dropdown under Category, for instance).

The only slight issue might be that people may think the filters are additive, which of course they’re not: they are mutually exclusive. Do you think that’s a possible problem? If so, is it fixable?

Many thanks for the mockup and idea. I’m sure this avenue has legs and can be put to great use.


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#22 2011-11-14 12:44:55

masa
Member
From: Asturias, Spain
Registered: 2005-11-25
Posts: 1,091

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

Bloke wrote:

The only slight issue might be that people may think the filters are additive, which of course they’re not: they are mutually exclusive. Do you think that’s a possible problem? If so, is it fixable?

Well, I don’t know, whether that would complicate things too much, but when I first looked at my finished mockup, my immediate reaction was “Wouldn’t it be nice, if you could filter by more than one select?”

So would that be possible to do?

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#23 2011-11-14 12:47:24

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,387
Website GitHub

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

masa wrote:

Wouldn’t it be nice, if you could filter by more than one select?

Yes it would! Unfortunately Txp’s built-in filter feature — upon which this plugin sits — is set up to only allow filtering by one thing at a time. It would require some core changes to enable this :-(


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#24 2011-11-14 12:58:29

masa
Member
From: Asturias, Spain
Registered: 2005-11-25
Posts: 1,091

Re: smd_browse_by: browse articles, images, files and links by category

Never mind then, you still have the option of sorting by column label.
Although I guess, you’re right in that users might assume it would work.

Bloke wrote:

If I can make them discreet enough it shouldn’t take up much vertical real estate and hopefully won’t look too odd if you only decide to permit filtering by one of the selects.

You’re right, I don’t see a problem with a bit of blank space as a trade off. I haven’t tried it, but perhaps giving the table row in which the column labels and the selects live a pale bg colour would sort of make it look neater.

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