Search & Results for Superseded/Replacement or Alternative Items

30 Jan 2007 - 1:19pm
7 years ago
6 replies
1334 reads
jstrande
2007

I'm putting together a UI that enables people to search for alternates and
replacement items. The main use case is:

"I have item X - show me if it is valid. If not, show me the alternatives".

Does anyone have any good examples of online (web apps) that deal with this
nicely from a UI perspective?

The trick here, to me, is that the UI needs to clearly show that the
original item (the one the person searched for) is or isn't valid. If it
isn't valid, displaying the alternatives in a clear manner.

There are some other minor constraints that I'm dealing with as well... I
have some information that I must display for the original part due to some
compliance legislation.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?

Thank you in advance!

Jon

Comments

30 Jan 2007 - 1:55pm
.pauric
2006

do you mean something similar to google's suggest?
http://www.google.com/search?q=valed

An alternate approach can be found on newegg.com where they dynamically
indicate direct hits for the keyword as well as partial matches before you
hit enter.

However, I'm not sure how you get around "If it isn't valid, displaying the
alternatives in a clear manner." if something isnt valid, how do you know
what an alternative might be? Like guessing a password.

regards - pauric

On 1/30/07, Jon Strande <jstrande at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I'm putting together a UI that enables people to search for alternates and
> replacement items. The main use case is:
>
> "I have item X - show me if it is valid. If not, show me the
> alternatives".
>
> Does anyone have any good examples of online (web apps) that deal with
> this
> nicely from a UI perspective?
>
> The trick here, to me, is that the UI needs to clearly show that the
> original item (the one the person searched for) is or isn't valid. If it
> isn't valid, displaying the alternatives in a clear manner.
>
> There are some other minor constraints that I'm dealing with as well... I
> have some information that I must display for the original part due to
> some
> compliance legislation.
>
> Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?
>
> Thank you in advance!
>
> Jon
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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>

--
Job type: In house
Field: Embedded & physical interfaces. Web/cli

30 Jan 2007 - 2:11pm
jstrande
2007

Pauric,

Thank you for your reply!

No, the item that the person is searching for could have, at one time, been
a perfectly valid thing.

Let me try this again... sorry, I think my earlier note was a tad cryptic.

So a person has a part number and they go to search for it. That part could
be perfectly valid and they could have been ordering it for years. Along
comes some legislation and now, due to a restriction in the amount of
hazardous substances in the part (Hexavalent chromium, Cadmium, etc), the
part is either "Compliant" or "Not Compliant". If the part is not Compliant,
I need to be able to clearly show the requested part is NOT COMPLIANT and
offer them some Compliant alternatives...

Also, because this legislation only applies to certain industries, I need to
be able to show where the part has potential exemptions (US Military can
still use parts with Lead in them, Consumer goods sold in the UK can't - as
one example).

I've searched high and low and can't find any good examples of showing
alternatives.

Thank you!

Jon

On 1/30/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> do you mean something similar to google's suggest?
> http://www.google.com/search?q=valed
>
> An alternate approach can be found on newegg.com where they dynamically
> indicate direct hits for the keyword as well as partial matches before you
> hit enter.
>
> However, I'm not sure how you get around "If it isn't valid, displaying
> the
> alternatives in a clear manner." if something isnt valid, how do you know
> what an alternative might be? Like guessing a password.
>
> regards - pauric
>
> On 1/30/07, Jon Strande <jstrande at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I'm putting together a UI that enables people to search for alternates
> and
> > replacement items. The main use case is:
> >
> > "I have item X - show me if it is valid. If not, show me the
> > alternatives".
> >
> > Does anyone have any good examples of online (web apps) that deal with
> > this
> > nicely from a UI perspective?
> >
> > The trick here, to me, is that the UI needs to clearly show that the
> > original item (the one the person searched for) is or isn't valid. If it
> > isn't valid, displaying the alternatives in a clear manner.
> >
> > There are some other minor constraints that I'm dealing with as well...
> I
> > have some information that I must display for the original part due to
> > some
> > compliance legislation.
> >
> > Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?
> >
> > Thank you in advance!
> >
> > Jon
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Job type: In house
> Field: Embedded & physical interfaces. Web/cli
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

30 Jan 2007 - 2:19pm
Dante Murphy
2006

The Radio Shack battery finder used to do this, but it looks like they
have a new application. The old one would show the deprecated battery,
then suggest alternatives.

There might be something similar for print cartridges.
_______________________________________
Dante Murphy | Director of Information Architecture
Medical Broadcasting Company | A D I G I T A S INC. COMPANY

30 Jan 2007 - 2:32pm
.pauric
2006

Are your responsible for blocking non compliant part purchases?

The RS catalogue in the UK indicates RoHS certs beside relevant components
<
http://rswww.com/cgi-bin/bv/rswww/searchBrowseAction.do?obs=sObs&name=SiteStandard&No=0&N=0&Ntk=I18NBrandPartNumber&Ntt=555&Nty=1&D=555&Ntx=mode%20matchpartial&Dx=mode%20matchpartial&callingPage=/jsp/homePage/homePage.jsp&BV_SessionID=@@@@1716383245.1170184830@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccdgaddjmikmehfcefeceeldgondhgg.0&cacheID=uknetscape&Nr=avl:uk
>
thats for a 555 timer, you could try more complex part to see results better
suited to your catalog.

Although I do have to say they have a really well indexed catalog to work
with. If you were working on the recent upgrades to
http://www.digikey.com/then you have a much harder task, the solution
to this issue seems to be in
the ability to cross reference old and newer parts.

30 Jan 2007 - 2:40pm
jstrande
2007

Dante - thank you for the tips, I'm trying to find some old printer
cartridge numbers to use across various sites, GREAT IDEA!!

Pauric - you got it: RoHS... and now China RoHS. Yeah, good data is key with
this task. Nice link, BTW! I like the Narrow your results arrow pointing to
the different filters - that is another item on my agenda in the very near
future, using filters to narrow results. Our current one isn't very nice.
Nope, not working on the Digikey site... you're in the right industry though
(I'm at a manufacturer).

Thank you both!!!

Jon

On 1/30/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Are your responsible for blocking non compliant part purchases?
>
> The RS catalogue in the UK indicates RoHS certs beside relevant components
> <
>
> http://rswww.com/cgi-bin/bv/rswww/searchBrowseAction.do?obs=sObs&name=SiteStandard&No=0&N=0&Ntk=I18NBrandPartNumber&Ntt=555&Nty=1&D=555&Ntx=mode%20matchpartial&Dx=mode%20matchpartial&callingPage=/jsp/homePage/homePage.jsp&BV_SessionID=@@@@1716383245.1170184830@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccdgaddjmikmehfcefeceeldgondhgg.0&cacheID=uknetscape&Nr=avl:uk
> >
> thats for a 555 timer, you could try more complex part to see results
> better
> suited to your catalog.
>
> Although I do have to say they have a really well indexed catalog to work
> with. If you were working on the recent upgrades to
> http://www.digikey.com/then you have a much harder task, the solution
> to this issue seems to be in
> the ability to cross reference old and newer parts.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

31 Jan 2007 - 10:13am
Brett Williams
2006

Jon,

I designed a B2B healthcare supply-chain web application, and had to
address 3 similar issues.

First, although we certainly attempted to keep our product catalog
synchronized as much as possible with the supplier and/or
manufacturer catalogs, the technology of the day (dotcom circa 2000)
didn't allow for a tight integration such as SOAP/Web Services. So
when a user submitted a PO, it was sent via EDI, XML or web-based to
the supplier for PO acknowledgement (POA). The supplier would
transmit back to our system the POA with item-by-item information
that we matched to our catalog. Changes might be a price
modification, UOM change or the product may be discontinued or the
supplier may not have stock and is offering a substitute 'equivalent'
item. When this happened, in the UI, we would display the original
ordered item info in gray, with a bright red status of "Discontinued"
or "Substituted", and if there was a suggested replacement item it
would be displayed right below in regular style.

Secondly, within our catalog, I developed the concept of what we
branded "SmartAlternatives" . . . functional equivalent products
based on my "Rules of Likeness":
- Item must be categorized in the same commodity bin of the UNSPSC
schema
- Item must have the same 3F values/attributes (Form, Fit, Function)
- Catalog had to be standardized down to lowest 'orderable' UOM (i.e.
EA=Each, OZ=Ounce, etc.) for true comparison.
- Client may set flag to only show alternatives based on specific
contracted suppliers (to accommodate rebates and tier-pricing).
If there was a "SmartAlternative" available for a given item, we
displayed a graphic as well as text like "Up to 25% Savings
Available." Clicking the graphic opened a popup window with all the
alternatives displayed default sorted by price.

Thirdly, as is standard, we never deleted items from the catalog,
instead the status of the item would be changed to "Discontinued". So
if a user worked at a Outpatient Surgery Center and they had created
an "SmartTemplate" to order all the supplies they needed for a
particular procedure, and similar to your example, they have been
ordering the same scalpel for Dr. Feelgood for years), but when they
go to submit this time, maybe the scalpel has been discontinued so it
would be displayed in gray and the item status would be
"Discontinued" in red. The user could not submit the template as PO
until the item was removed, however, they could use the
"SmartAlternatives" and find a 'functionally equivalent scalpel".

As far as your example of special exemptions such as military use,
you could handle how the item is either returned in a search or not
and/or how the item is displayed (CSS) by privileges based on the
user's login credentials. Or, you could flag those items in your
database that have special exemptions and display a special graphic
or text to denote it still can be ordered and used, but only within
specific guidelines (maybe a hovering Div). In addition, when the
user is about to submit the order you could display a review screen
that highlighted those items that can only be used within specific
guidelines with the message "Are you sure you want to order this
highly toxic and illegal substance?"

Hope this helps. By the way, I now work for a company called
ChoiceMED that offers Master Data Management services; data
cleansing, data standardization, data categorization, etc., so if you
need any advice or help with doing "SmartAlternatives" type
functionality let me know.

bw

On Jan 30, 2007, at 2:11 PM, Jon Strande wrote:

> Pauric,
>
> Thank you for your reply!
>
> No, the item that the person is searching for could have, at one
> time, been
> a perfectly valid thing.
>
> Let me try this again... sorry, I think my earlier note was a tad
> cryptic.
>
> So a person has a part number and they go to search for it. That
> part could
> be perfectly valid and they could have been ordering it for years.
> Along
> comes some legislation and now, due to a restriction in the amount of
> hazardous substances in the part (Hexavalent chromium, Cadmium,
> etc), the
> part is either "Compliant" or "Not Compliant". If the part is not
> Compliant,
> I need to be able to clearly show the requested part is NOT
> COMPLIANT and
> offer them some Compliant alternatives...
>
> Also, because this legislation only applies to certain industries,
> I need to
> be able to show where the part has potential exemptions (US
> Military can
> still use parts with Lead in them, Consumer goods sold in the UK
> can't - as
> one example).
>
> I've searched high and low and can't find any good examples of showing
> alternatives.
>
> Thank you!
>
> Jon
>
>
>
> On 1/30/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> do you mean something similar to google's suggest?
>> http://www.google.com/search?q=valed
>>
>> An alternate approach can be found on newegg.com where they
>> dynamically
>> indicate direct hits for the keyword as well as partial matches
>> before you
>> hit enter.
>>
>> However, I'm not sure how you get around "If it isn't valid,
>> displaying
>> the
>> alternatives in a clear manner." if something isnt valid, how do
>> you know
>> what an alternative might be? Like guessing a password.
>>
>> regards - pauric
>>
>> On 1/30/07, Jon Strande <jstrande at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> I'm putting together a UI that enables people to search for
>>> alternates
>> and
>>> replacement items. The main use case is:
>>>
>>> "I have item X - show me if it is valid. If not, show me the
>>> alternatives".
>>>
>>> Does anyone have any good examples of online (web apps) that deal
>>> with
>>> this
>>> nicely from a UI perspective?
>>>
>>> The trick here, to me, is that the UI needs to clearly show that the
>>> original item (the one the person searched for) is or isn't
>>> valid. If it
>>> isn't valid, displaying the alternatives in a clear manner.
>>>
>>> There are some other minor constraints that I'm dealing with as
>>> well...
>> I
>>> have some information that I must display for the original part
>>> due to
>>> some
>>> compliance legislation.
>>>
>>> Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?
>>>
>>> Thank you in advance!
>>>
>>> Jon
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Job type: In house
>> Field: Embedded & physical interfaces. Web/cli
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

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