Opened 5 years ago

Closed 4 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

#16059 closed Cleanup/optimization (fixed)

FilteredSelectMultiple "remove" button appears disabled

Reported by: boxed Owned by: nobody
Component: contrib.admin Version: 1.3
Severity: Normal Keywords:
Cc: Triage Stage: Accepted
Has patch: yes Needs documentation: no
Needs tests: no Patch needs improvement: no
Easy pickings: no UI/UX: yes


The color choice for the remove buttons for FilteredSelectMultiple is unfortunate. Multiple times when looking at someone doing a demo of a site that used this control I see them hesitate before clicking the button, even though they have used it multiple times before. The reason is that the gray color when viewed in opposition to the blue looks like it's disabled.

Attachments (6)

16059-filteredselectmultiple-better-ui.diff (5.7 KB) - added by julien 5 years ago.
16059-filteredselectmultiple-better-ui.2.diff (20.5 KB) - added by julien 4 years ago.
16059-filteredselectmultiple-better-ui.3.diff (21.3 KB) - added by julien 4 years ago.
Better FilteredSelectMultiple.png (86.5 KB) - added by julien 4 years ago.
Screenshot for patch 16059-filteredselectmultiple-better-ui.3.diff
FilterSelectMultiple (Original).png (74.1 KB) - added by julien 4 years ago.
FilteredSelectMultiple widget as before the fix
16059-filteredselectmultiple-better-ui.4.diff (22.9 KB) - added by julien 4 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (23)

comment:1 Changed 5 years ago by julien

  • Easy pickings unset
  • Needs documentation unset
  • Needs tests unset
  • Patch needs improvement unset
  • Triage Stage changed from Unreviewed to Design decision needed

I agree that this is not ideal. Also, the fact that "Select your choice(s) and click" appears on the right hand side isn't particularly great either. I definitely think there's room for improvement -- needs some more design discussion.

Changed 5 years ago by julien

comment:2 Changed 5 years ago by julien

  • Has patch set

So I've had a play with this. I've replaced all the grey icons with their blue equivalents. I've also added a help text under the search box on the left panel. Now there are two help texts:

  • "To add, select your choice(s) and click =>"
  • "To remove, select your choice(s) and click <="

See a screenshot here:

comment:3 Changed 5 years ago by boxed

The boxes should probably be the same height, but that looks much more usable!

comment:4 Changed 5 years ago by julien

My Skitch account name has been changed. Here's the link again:

comment:5 Changed 4 years ago by julien

  • UI/UX set

comment:6 Changed 4 years ago by julien

  • Component changed from User Experience to contrib.admin

comment:7 Changed 4 years ago by julien

  • Triage Stage changed from Design decision needed to Accepted

I've made a number of usability improvements in the latest patch:

  • The word "choose" is replaced with "add", and the word "clear" with "remove".
  • Added tooltips (title attributes).
  • The "Add all" icon is now right-aligned.
  • The boxes have the same size in horizontal mode.
  • Made help texts more explicit.

comment:8 Changed 4 years ago by julien

By the way, the patch contains some binary images and so you'd need to use git apply:

git apply ~/Downloads/16059-filteredselectmultiple-better-ui.2.diff

comment:9 Changed 4 years ago by julien

I forgot to mention another important improvement: the icons appear active (i.e. blue) only if some items are selected in the boxes, respectively only if the boxes aren't empty for the "Add all" and "Remove all" links.

comment:10 Changed 4 years ago by DrMeers

I think your dynamic button color solution is nice. I guess the gray "remove" button was originally designed that way to indicate "removal"; not sure whether it matters that this visual cue would be removed. Gray was never a good idea, but red/green would potentially be ugly. I'm happy enough with blue myself, but a UI expert might say otherwise.

I've only got Chrome handy for testing, but would be interested to see if the inline-block rules hold up in IE.

I think the "To add ..., select some choice(s) below and click the "Add" button" tips are useful, but I don't like how much space they take up; I wonder if they could be hidden in "help/?" buttons or tooltips or something?

Changed 4 years ago by julien

Screenshot for patch 16059-filteredselectmultiple-better-ui.3.diff

comment:11 Changed 4 years ago by julien

Thanks for your feedback, Simon. I've made the help texts available as tooltips to avoid clutter (see attached screenshot).

I'm now planning to put all those arrow icons into a single sprite file to save bandwidth and to display faster. In the process I'd also like to delete the original individual icon files -- it is possible that people already use them to customise their admin, so we'd have to mention it in the release notes so that they get replacement files and serve them separately outside the default admin media.

I also need to add the new translation strings for the new help texts.

Any more feedback welcome! :)

comment:12 Changed 4 years ago by julien

By the way, so far I've manually tested with IE7+8 and Chrome+Safari+Firefox for the Mac successfully. More manual testing on other browsers or platforms is also welcome.

Changed 4 years ago by julien

FilteredSelectMultiple widget as before the fix

comment:13 Changed 4 years ago by idangazit

Looks good to me for now.

Future stuff I'd like to consider: we have a filterbox on the left, but not on the right. I thought about it for a while, and couldn't rationalize why. For now, we should commit this.

Awesome work, Julien. :)

comment:14 Changed 4 years ago by julien

Thanks for the review, Idan! I too have been wondering about the absence of a filterbox on the right hand side. It is less than ideal especially since there could easily be dozens of selected items on the right as well as on the left. The main explanation I could come up with is that it may be confusing for some users to have some data saved in the database but visually hidden in the widget. Imagine: there's a bunch of items selected on the right for an existing object, you filter it (and therefore some items get hidden), you press save, and all the items reappear there on the right.

Anyway, I agree that it's best to opt for the status quo for this particular filterbox question, and perhaps tackle it in a separate ticket with other related redesign questions. I'll continue doing some testing and minor refinements with this patch and will commit it if it can reach a stable and solid state. Anyone please still feel free to jump in with ideas.

comment:15 Changed 4 years ago by julien

OK, this patch is now candidate for checkin. I've already successfully tested it with multiple browsers. I'll continue doing some more testing and will eventually check it in. In the meantime feel free to give it a whirl.

comment:16 Changed 4 years ago by julien

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from new to closed

In [16714]:

Fixed #16059 -- Improved the usability of the admin's vertical and horizontal "filter" widgets, in particular by providing a better visual representation of the buttons' enabled and disabled states, and by providing more elaborate, yet less cluttered, help texts.

Note that this commit is an exception to the current tacit rule that javascript code changes should be avoided until a proper javascript testing framework for Django core is in place. This exception is commanded by the fact that it is to fix a recognized usability issue and that the patch has been (manually) extensively tested in IE6+, Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera.

comment:17 Changed 4 years ago by julien

My apologies for forgetting to thank in the commit message 'boxed', Simon Meers and Idan Gazit for their suggestions and feedback.

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