Alternate design for check box table

15 Sep 2008 - 1:11pm
5 years ago
8 replies
1316 reads
Suba Periyasami
2008

Check box table design is widely used for selecting multiple rows in a table
and performing batch actions (example- delete, apply, assign).
Alternatively, Shift click can be used to enable multi selection. Hotmail
is doing this in a slightly different way. Are there any other thoughts,
examples out there for selecting multiple rows?

-Suba

Comments

16 Sep 2008 - 12:49pm
Loren Baxter
2007

It would be interesting to play with Click + Drag to select multiple rows,
similar to a list box. This is perhaps unexpected and advanced
functionality, but with proper cues it can be learned and can speed the
interaction up.

It is also dependent on whether you need to preserve Click + Drag's default
behavior of text selection.

On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 11:11 AM, Suba Periyasami <speriyas at gmail.com>wrote:

> Check box table design is widely used for selecting multiple rows in a
> table
> and performing batch actions (example- delete, apply, assign).
> Alternatively, Shift click can be used to enable multi selection. Hotmail
> is doing this in a slightly different way. Are there any other thoughts,
> examples out there for selecting multiple rows?
>
>
> -Suba
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16 Sep 2008 - 12:49pm
Loren Baxter
2007

It would be interesting to play with Click + Drag to select multiple rows,
similar to a list box. This is perhaps unexpected and advanced
functionality, but with proper cues it can be learned and can speed the
interaction up.

It is also dependent on whether you need to preserve Click + Drag's default
behavior of text selection.

On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 11:11 AM, Suba Periyasami <speriyas at gmail.com>wrote:

> Check box table design is widely used for selecting multiple rows in a
> table
> and performing batch actions (example- delete, apply, assign).
> Alternatively, Shift click can be used to enable multi selection. Hotmail
> is doing this in a slightly different way. Are there any other thoughts,
> examples out there for selecting multiple rows?
>
>
> -Suba
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

16 Sep 2008 - 1:29pm
Meredith Noble
2010

> Check box table design is widely used for selecting multiple rows in a
> table
> and performing batch actions (example- delete, apply, assign).
> Alternatively, Shift click can be used to enable multi selection.
Hotmail
> is doing this in a slightly different way. Are there any other
thoughts,
> examples out there for selecting multiple rows?

Suba, we had a big discussion about this in March -- you might find some
useful info in it:

http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=26984

I had the exact same issue and sadly decided to go with the standard
checkbox approach, because my client's customers were already used to
that style of interaction, and because I couldn't come up with anything
else that worked well with the number of batch actions I had.

I had to figure out what to do with buttons that could only act on one
item at a time vs. button that could act on many items at one time
(batch). In the end, I disabled single-item buttons when the user
selected more than one item. They display an explanation of why they're
disabled on rollover.

Would love to hear (or see!) if you end up finding some cool alternative
to checkboxes!

Meredith

16 Sep 2008 - 2:42pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Sep 16, 2008, at 2:29 PM, Meredith Noble wrote:

> I had the exact same issue and sadly decided to go with the standard
> checkbox approach, because my client's customers were already used
> to that style of interaction, and because I couldn't come up with
> anything else that worked well with the number of batch actions I had.

Couldn't you enable both so they can "learn" the interaction over time?

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
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Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
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Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

16 Sep 2008 - 3:14pm
Meredith Noble
2010

> > I had the exact same issue and sadly decided to go with the
> > standard checkbox approach, because my client's customers were already
> > used to that style of interaction, and because I couldn't come up with
> > anything else that worked well with the number of batch actions I had.

> Couldn't you enable both so they can "learn" the interaction over time?

The Hotmail model, yeah, absolutely. I just tried it out with Shift+Click and Ctrl+Click and it's great; Fitt's Law at its best. But it never would have occurred to me to try Shift+Clicking, and I never saw anything on the interface that suggested it might work that way. How did you discover it, Suba?

If my client's developers weren't already going nuts, I might suggest it now... but perhaps I'll save it for phase 2. :)

I'd put in a little help bubble explaining the feature though. As soon as I see checkboxes the idea of Shift+Clicking just doesn't enter my brain.

Meredith

16 Sep 2008 - 4:07pm
SemanticWill
2007

Maybe you guys aren't very good IAs.

That is okay.

Maybe you need direction.

Maybe you need help that the IAI or B&A can't fix.

It - is - okay. Seriously. We won't make fun. We will fix it though

~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.128 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill | gtalk: wkevans4
twitter: semanticwill | skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

17 Sep 2008 - 12:23pm
Suba Periyasami
2008

I don't claim to know all of the PC keyboard shortcuts. However, I'm aware
of the traditional Shift + click and Ctrl + click to select multiple
items. This behavior is used in applications like Microsoft Outlook and also
in windows explorer to select multiple files. Yes, there is no visual clue
or good affordance. It wouldn't have normally occurred to me to try
shift+click in a table where the rows have check boxes because the natural
tendency would be to directly select the check boxes.

I am not sure if it was a conscious design decision or an artifact of the
software implementation. Letting people know visually or at the least
through help documents would benefit users.

On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 1:14 PM, Meredith Noble <
meredith at usabilitymatters.com> wrote:

> > > I had the exact same issue and sadly decided to go with the
> > > standard checkbox approach, because my client's customers were already
> > > used to that style of interaction, and because I couldn't come up with
> > > anything else that worked well with the number of batch actions I had.
>
> > Couldn't you enable both so they can "learn" the interaction over time?
>
> The Hotmail model, yeah, absolutely. I just tried it out with Shift+Click
> and Ctrl+Click and it's great; Fitt's Law at its best. But it never would
> have occurred to me to try Shift+Clicking, and I never saw anything on the
> interface that suggested it might work that way. How did you discover it,
> Suba?
>
> If my client's developers weren't already going nuts, I might suggest it
> now... but perhaps I'll save it for phase 2. :)
>
> I'd put in a little help bubble explaining the feature though. As soon as I
> see checkboxes the idea of Shift+Clicking just doesn't enter my brain.
>
> Meredith
>

17 Sep 2008 - 5:33pm
Matthew Anderson
2008

Depending on the situation, some interfaces are allowing an entire
table row to be a click target, giving color or other visual
indication that the row has been toggled to a selected state.

Allowing this action for multiple rows does seem an improvement over
making users target a series of small check boxes.

- Matt

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32951

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