John Kaster

Behind the Screen

What’s in a named list?

with 6 comments

We’re working on “named lists” for QualityCentral. This will allow any logged-in user to create a list of QualityCentral (QC) reports, name the list, and share it with varying visibility rules, such as private, public, invitation only, etc.

I want to get your feedback on some of the options for named lists. This is not an exhaustive design spec, and each of these options have implications for how the lists are managed internally. What I’d really like to get is what you expect for the user experience, without worrying about the internal implementation of the list.

Consider the following “named list” scenario:

  • You make a list named “DBArtisan for Joe”
  • You make another list named “Delphi for David”
  • You make a another list named “JBuilder for Dan”
  • You then make another list, called “My QC reports”, which references the other three lists “DBArtisan for Joe”, “Delphi for David”, and “JBuilder for Dan”

Here’s what I’d like your feedback on:

Displaying the list

1) When you look at “My QC items”, what do you see?
1a) The combined QC reports from the referenced lists
1b) A list containing links to each of the referenced lists
1c) Something else entirely

Removing items from the list

2) When you remove a report reference from the list “My QC Items”, should:
2a) the report reference be removed from the list originally containing it?
2b) you be prompted to remove it from the original list?
2c) it only be removed from “My QC Items” because “My QC Items” should be a snapshot of the other lists at the time you create the list “My QC Items”

(Status updates and other modifications to a specific item are not an issue, because all lists link to their original QC items.)

Adding items to the list

3) When you add items to “My QC Items”, should:
3a) it be added as a new QC report link only for “My QC items”
3b) you be required to choose the referenced list that should contain the reference
3c) you only be allowed to add another list to a list of lists

Please let me know what you think. Thanks!


Written by John Kaster

April 13, 2009 at 10:10 am

Posted in EDN

6 Responses

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  1. My 2c

    1a – With reports grouped by referenced list, and the group header being a hyperlink to the referenced list
    2b – With an option to save your choice as the default behavior and to not be prompted again
    3a.1 – Be prompted whether it should be part of My QC Items, or a member of one of the referenced lists, with an option allowing the user to always add it to My QC Items without being prompted again

    David Clegg

    April 13, 2009 at 11:39 am

  2. I agree with David Clegg:
    including his remarks

    Thomas Mueller

    April 13, 2009 at 8:41 pm

  3. 1. – A tree, if possilbe.

    My QC items
    – My Delphi Items
    – – Bugs
    – – Feature Requests
    – My Java Items


    2. – 2b. (With the same comment as David Clegg)

    3. – 3a. Think at the tree paradigm above. It will be a leave which is directly attached to the root.

    (If you want more details about how can one implement such a tree, I can give you some hints).


    …This means that we’ll have an entirely new QC web client (because you speak now about the _web_ client, isn’t?) or the old one will be ‘updated’? Or perhaps you just have in mind not the DB infrastructure?

    m. Th.

    April 13, 2009 at 11:17 pm

  4. I agree with the others asking for a tree implementation.

    With that, 2b is the only option that really makes sense, and 3a is the easiest and most sensible choice that doesn’t involve the user making another choice.

    Anthony Frazier

    April 14, 2009 at 2:49 am

  5. The named list should be allowed to include individual issues (QC reports) as well as other lists.
    That would allow the tree structure we are all used to for folders and files.
    Now, if we want it a bit fancy, it would be very nice to be able to have an item in more than 1 list (a la Unix) with some alias mechanism where the item is totally removed only when the last reference is removed.
    All this imply the list management to be a bit more than these 3 questions 😉

    With that in mind:

    1-a. with the tree structure with foldable nodes + hyperlink to contained lists

    a: because it’s obvious it is in “My QC Items” because it is a member of the sublist.
    b: only in case it is the last reference (alias) to the item.

    3-a Up to the user to move it around later. The default should be to add to the current root for whatever list is displayed.

    … and thanks for asking 🙂

    Francois GAILLARD

    April 14, 2009 at 8:24 am

  6. All, thanks for your comments. So far, nobody’s surprised me with the feedback — we’ll try to achieve as much as possible with the list management, but it will definitely be an iterative process that gets gradually improved.

    John Kaster

    April 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm

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