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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Squeezing data into a page

    Hi,

    I'm thinking about building a page which will display a large amount of data from a database.

    There will be 5 catagories and each category needs to be seperate and contains at least 10 entries. Currently I have a grid that looks like this:

    XX
    XX
    X

    Where X is a div containing results from a category. These divs are approx. 200px tall.

    I was looking for suggestions as to how to economise the screenspace better, as no doubt it'll look cluttered. I'm trying to go for as little click throughs and scrolling as possible, whils maintaining the visibility of data and make it easy to read.

    I know it's a hard task..any ideas or example sites are much appreciated.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy
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    This isn't a technical question -- it's an information design question.

    What's the objective? ...Who is the target customer? ...What's the reason you are displaying the data to the customer?

    What's the best format which meets the objective? ...Does the user really need this much data, or is this purely conjecture? Keeping in mind the first rule: Don't listen to users.

    Maybe, just maybe, the best format is to find a way to eliminate the need to display the data altogether. Sometimes the best "solution" is Zero technology, which also happens to be very easy to code.

    If you don't know the context (that would be human context) how on earth can you possibly get anything approaching a usable (usable for the user) answer?

    Before you get two dozen "answers" none of which have anyhting to do with data as if human beings matter, I had to wedge this in. "Starting a Design" had better start being about how humans are going to react to the data ....long before "it's too early to think about it" becomes "too late to change it now."

    Please resume the thread as if this post never happened.

  3. #3
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    be careful, "squeezing" data into the page will have horrible results if the browser viewport scrolls horizontally

    do not make the mistake that your users will enjoy maximizing their browsers, becuase not everybody enjoys being forced to do that, and some of them will still see a horizontal scrollbar even maximized

    and please re-read post #2
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  4. #4
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    I think I'm going to ignore the users when they say they don't want to have to click alot.

    I think a tabbed panel might be the best idea I've thought of so far.

    1 box, 5 tabs

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy
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    ...ignore the users when they say they don't want to have to click alot.
    That's the way. Of course the other way to not listen would be to observe what users actually do and not just what they say, but either way the problem is self correcting.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot soezzy's Avatar
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    You could also think about giving the viewing option to the client by scripting the tabed panel with a comparison button, that way if they want some or all the data on one page they can have some or all the data on one page, and if they don't they can look at the individual tabs.
    Its just my 2.
    Don't pay any attention to me!
    What the heck do I know anyway?


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