Siderea (siderea) wrote in suggestions,

Friends Filters Matrix

Friends Filters Matrix

Short, concise description of the idea
A matrix of friends by filters, orderable by several sort criteria.

Full description of the idea
A friends-management page which consists of a matrix, with friends groups left to right (since there is a maximum of 30 of those) and individual friends (vertically, since there is a maximum of 750 of those). At the intersection of each friend and each friend group, a check box, indicating the membership status of that person and that group.

This matrix sould be sortable in several ways: the vertical sort alphabetical ascending or descending by friend name, the horizontal asc/desc by either filter/group name or by order (since user-editable ordinals are stored for filters!)

An ordered list of benefits
  • The big benefit of this is to allow users to compare filter memberships -- to do essentially "visual diffs". An example case where it would have been useful for me to have been using such a thing: I use filters as views to break my fpage into multiples for easier reading. In doing some LJ housekeeping, I accidentally dropped a friend from one page without adding them to another (presumably a misclick in the tiny multi-select box which we are given to make fgroup edits). Thus, unbeknownst to me, she was no longer on any of my fpages. Several months later, I was wondering, "Gee, it's been a long time since she posted; wonder how long it's been; I'll go check her profile"; it was only then I discovered she'd been posting all along, just wasn't on any of my filters. Had I been using a tool which gives more visual feedback, I would have seen instantly while making changes to my fgroups in the first place that a change I had made had accidentally left her in no groups.
  • Another scenario of usefulness: As mentioned, I use exclusive filters as views, sort of "sub-friends-pages" for reading; exclusive in the sense that a friend appears on only one. The membership roles of each of these filters is quite long. To compare them by clicking back and forth in the edit-custom-friends-group page, which has a multiselect form element which only shows 15 friends at a time, is very difficult. This makes managing these groups -- deciding which fgroup to add a new fgroup to, e.g. -- quite challenging to say the least.

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • I'm unclear about the performance issues, though I suspect they are not any worse than the extant "edit custom friends group" page.
  • Something which looks like a problem and isn't: yes, it could result in a very big page. Really, a 30 by 750 table of checkboxes isn't that much. No, it won't be WAP-friendly, but that's OK; neither is much AJAXy goodness used throughout LJ.
  • This has the standard checkbox/form problem of "how do you handle absent meaning false", but that's such an old HTML chestnut, I presume the LJ developers already have a favorite solution.

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • Since part of the point of the exercise is to improve on the visual feedback of the affordances of the current Edit Custom Friends Groups, care should be taken that the line height of such a table is minimal, so that as many friends can be squeezed into the available space as possible; if the table has too much vertical whitespace, it frustrates this goal.
Tags: custom friends groups, user interface, § no status
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