iTunes-style Filtering

this is related to the hierarchical grouping coming in 1.9. https://shotgunsoftware.zendesk.com/forums/31278/entries/27446

originally i posted this there, but since it's large enough in scope to constitute its own feature, i thought i'd spawn it off as a new topic.  so, i apologize for the double posting.

when grouping is enabled, it would be HUGE to have a new view (along with list, card, thumb, etc ) that is a 2-pane iTunes-style navigator, with the hierarchical groupings arranged left to right in the top pane and the filter results in the bottom pane. these hierarchical groupings are essentially the most common filters for whatever you're displaying. 

For the tasks page i might choose Sequence, Link (aka shot/asset), Type, Artist.  from there it's just like itunes: each column has "All" as an option so i can use any combination of filter or even select multiple items from each column.  I might choose a single sequence, then several shots, and then 'lighting' and leave artists at 'All' to see all lighting tasks for certain shots.  or i might leave Sequence, shot and type at 'All' and choose a particular artist, if i want to see everything that is assigned to a particular artist.

IMHO, this feature would completely rock.  it provides dynamic filter application in one page, removing the need to create a separate page for each query, and it's an interface people are familiar with. 


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    Don Parker

    That's a really, really cool idea.  We've been talking about column browsers for a long time over here, but have not yet worked out how to implement.  I like the idea of using grouping to define the "hierarchy".

    I wonder though if this shouldn't be a UI element that shows up in all modes instead of it's own mode?  What if there was a column browser on each page you could pull open that supports configuration like you describe?  Maybe some standard default could be used initially to support a common studio entity hierarchy, but then you can go in there and change how that works?

    We've been thinking about this on the detail pages too.  Instead of a series of dropdowns to navigate (which we use on Shot and Asset detail pages), something that looks like a path could be displayed up top that expands into a column browser on click or mouse-over.  Then you can move from one detail page to another quickly, or back out to a list page.  Perhaps that too could be customized to support a default hierarchy (Project > Sequence > Shot).

    Or do you think this is better served as a separate page mode?

    You stretched my head on this one a bit.. have to let that sink in.  Maybe I should do a round of screen designs to see how this unfolds....

  • 0
    Chad Dombrova

    i think it would make sense to be able to sort cards and thumbnails using the column browser, so, yeah, it should probably be separate from the views.  it would make sense to have a button to turn the browser on and off to save screen real-estate

    one thing to ask ourselves is if the filtered results should themselves be grouped.  Let's take the Task page example.  If we group by Sequence > Link > Type, and then choose "Sequence1" > "Shot1" > "All" Types (in other words, we don't apply the Type filter), is the resulting list grouped by type?  it might make sense, but it might also add clutter to what would be a fairly short list.  in my thinking, the two modes, "grouped" and "column browser", are mutually exclusive...

    as for replacing the drop-downs in the shot detail page with the browser:  one you've got the browser tech worked out for lists, it would probably not take much work to at least see how it works in the details page.  i think the answer will be "very well". the details browser would essentially be a subclass of the list browser, with two primary differences:  1) the entity being detailed would always be the last column since we need to end up with something of that type to detail, 2) there would be no "All" item in each column since you would be required to produce a single result from browsing. also, in the details page, it might make sense for all the browser to be represented as a series of flyout menus instead of scrollable columns.




  • 0
    Don Parker

    I can imagine cases where it might be cool to have your results grouped while using the column browser, though you might not be matching how the column browser it put together.  For example, you might group tasks by  Type > Assigned and then filter them via the column browser by Type > Status.  The end goal would be to quickly see all my tasks grouped by Artists filtered to just the tasks that are In Progress.

    I wonder too if that column browser should support more options per column, similar to the iPod navigation.  I might want to see a column browser on tasks that lets me start filtering by Type, Assigned, Status, or Link.  Say I choose Link.  Then the next column could have a list of all link types (asset, shot, etc.) AND options for Type, Assigned, or Status.  I choose Status > IP to further filter my results.  That might be a lame idea.. have to try it out in some screens to see how it feels.

    I do like the idea of the last column in the list getting you to the detail page.  Would that mean that the last column has a list of records that match the list in the pane below?  I suppose we'd just sort that list in 123aBc order...

    Have you checked out Delicious Director?  It uses a column browser to navigate through linked tags:  http://www.johnvey.com/features/deliciousdirector/demo.html


    I have this on my "needs screens" list and will try to get something out for us to look at soon.

  • 0
    Chad Dombrova

    "I wonder too if that column browser should support more options per column, similar to the iPod navigation."

    as far as iPod navigation, unless there's something i'm forgetting, it's really a less powerful subset of the iTunes model:

    iPod Menus:

    • genre > album> artist
    • album > artist  ( same as above with genre set to 'all' )
    • artist  ( same as above with genre and album set to 'all' )
    • song  ( same as above with genre, album, and artist set to 'all' )
    • playlist

    do you think it will be possible to pull off multiple selection in the column browser? this is something that web apps sometimes have trouble with.


    "I do like the idea of the last column in the list getting you to the detail page. Would that mean that the last column has a list of records that match the list in the pane below? "

    that wasn't what i was thinking of.  i think the hyperlink on the listed item rows is adequate for that purpose.  i was saying that the details page would have an alternate version of the column browser with several tweaks that would ensure that the result of browsing is a single item of the same type as the entity being detailed.

    the primary weakness of the iTunes model is that it assumes your column filters can be arranged roughly from "big picture" to "small picture" or at the very least from "most commonly used" to "least commonly used".  perhaps i'm being too optimistic, but i think it can be. here are some examples:

    • Tasks Page:  Link, Type, Assigned to, Status
    • Shots Page: Sequence, Status
    • Assets Page:  Parent Asset, Type, Status

    The other interesting thing about the iTunes model is that in many cases it removes the need for Project pages.  For a smaller shop like luma (30-70 artists) with artists working across multiple projects, we'd probably rarely end up using the Project pages and would instead opt to create pages under My pages that have "Project" as the first column for all our filters.  that way we can quickly get an idea of all tasks, shots, assets for all projects, or just one, without jumping around between Project pages.

    "Have you checked out Delicious Director? "

    just took a look. very nice. makes me realize shotgun will need a similar browser for tags.

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