Make filter options collapsible
Open, Needs TriagePublic

Description

Filters may not be equally relevant in all kinds of changes listings. For the case of the Watchlist, some users have expressed their feeling that a lot of weight is given to filter controls when those are not as frequently used.

We can provide filter options in a way that the list of changes is the main focus for both, users not interested in filters and those with their own set of saved filters. In order to support that a "Filter" view that users can show/hide is proposed:

CollapsedFilter view

Collapsed view:

  • Filters are collapsed by default. The collapsed/expanded state remains persistent so those with the filters expanded will see them that way in their next visits.
  • A button to "show filters" allows to expand the filters.
  • An icon-only version of the saved filters menu allows users to quickly change their filters without having to expand all filters. The saved filters menu should only be shown if the user has at least one filter saved.

Filtering view:

  • The "Active filters" label is removed from inside the filters box, and replaced by a "Filters" label on top of it. Th label works in the same way, that is, showing next to it the name of the current active saved filter if any.
  • The filters label is shown with a back arrow that allows users to get out of the filtering view.
  • The mark all items as seen is moved to the bottom of the filters active area. This may require to compact the controls in that area too by adjusting their labels or combining some of them (but that can be described in other tickets).

The interaction is captured in this animation:

I think this will please some RC users as well.

When a user saves a set of filters, there is great chances that the set will not be changed soon. So the collapsed state is a seducing option for users who don't need all options all the time. I advice to have collapsed/expanded state remaining persistent by using a parameter in the URL to save the state.

I also advice to keep the live update button out of the collapsible option. It may be used more often than other options.

@Pginer-WMF, the Triage team has approved this for action in Q2. I think users will appreciate it. Here are some comments to help you finalize the design:

  1. Where will View Newest Changes link go?
  2. We need to make sure this is compatible with the changes planned in T177926 (which it looks like it is) and T176395
  3. I think it's OK that Saved Filters moves to a different position when hidden but I'd like to see it keep its label, so users don't have to learn two different states for this important menu.
  4. To me, it feels like the complement of "Show Filters" is "Hide Filters." These buttons should be consistent in style. Having the Hide button be a Back arrow (is it?) implies that hidden is the default state. But I would argue that Show needs to be the default, so we make sure users know about this feature.
  5. Would it be possible to show Live Update when in Hide mode? I don't know that it's required, but I can imagine an advanced user who has his Saved Filters all set up and uses Live Updates....

@Pginer-WMF, the Triage team has approved this for action in Q2. I think users will appreciate it. Here are some comments to help you finalize the design:

  1. Where will View Newest Changes link go?

View newest changes goes in the same line of the controls. More details in T178486.

  1. We need to make sure this is compatible with the changes planned in T177926 (which it looks like it is) and T176395

I created a separate ticket to illustrate how the different pieces work together using a scenario with the most elements visible (including "view newest changes"): T178486: Explore how the different approaches to make filters more compact work together

  1. I think it's OK that Saved Filters moves to a different position when hidden but I'd like to see it keep its label, so users don't have to learn two different states for this important menu.

When users create their saved filters they use the bookmark icon-only button inside the Active filters area. the compact mode is surfacing some actions as shortcuts, and it should be ok to present those shortcuts as icons. Users can still access their full versions through the Filters menu until they make the association of concepts.
I think we want to keep the entry point for the filters as the strongest action. In this particular case, having two labels about filters ("Show filters" and "Saved filters") can contribute to create confusion.

  1. To me, it feels like the complement of "Show Filters" is "Hide Filters." These buttons should be consistent in style. Having the Hide button be a Back arrow (is it?) implies that hidden is the default state. But I would argue that Show needs to be the default, so we make sure users know about this feature.

If we think on the expanded version as the default, the "back" metaphor does not make sense. I think that a "close" metaphor can work better here.
I don't agree that having a show/hid pair of controls is the only possible way to support this. I think that having a button that opens the Filters section is also a valid approach.

  1. Would it be possible to show Live Update when in Hide mode? I don't know that it's required, but I can imagine an advanced user who has his Saved Filters all set up and uses Live Updates....

Yes, but e need to be careful not making the compact version too cluttered. I think it is important to keep the access to the filters as te main path forward for our users, and the more functions we surface the weaker we make the main entry point.

This idea got too complicated for the value provided. I'm moving it to Medium Term. We'll do some of the easier parts of this -- combine the numbers and days control, and update the View Newest link.

Trizek-WMF added a comment.EditedNov 22 2017, 2:18 PM

This idea got too complicated for the value provided. I'm moving it to Medium Term. We'll do some of the easier parts of this -- combine the numbers and days control, and update the View Newest link.

This is a is a killer feature to convince users to adopt it. For what I know, people don't filter much their watchlist. Have a more direct access to the list of results would be very much appreciated. I regret you move it to medium term. What was the motivation behind that decision?