Victoria Whang | Product Designer
Victoria Whang | Product Designer
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Filters & Queries

Product Design

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Filters & Queries

Tasks is PowerHub’s most popular module. Its users range from accounting professionals to different types of asset managers with varying responsibilities depending on size of company (small business to enterprise). Tasks bridges individual day-to-day tasks to overall progress of renewable projects within portfolios (small to medium businesses), and even organizations (enterprise clients) and makes reporting much easier for clients. One of the biggest value propositions of Tasks is the ability to filter through tasks in great detail.

 
Filtering Tasks has 9 sections with links, checkboxes, date fields, and drop downs to account for all of the existing task details fields in the module.

Filtering Tasks has 9 sections with links, checkboxes, date fields, and drop downs to account for all of the existing task details fields in the module.

Layout

PowerHub uses panels to structure its information hierarchy. On the base, there is a top navigation bar. From there, there is a secondary navigation that stays fixed on the left. In the main frame, there is a content panel and one level deeper, it gets collapsed to make room for an additional content panel.

Components

Filters is available on almost every section. PowerHub, being heavy in data, relies on filters to navigate within projects, documents, and all other file types stored in the system with ease. One of the most detailed modules is Tasks. It includes 14 different form fields of information in each entry so its filter panel is a much lengthier form as well. It has form field types ranging from date range checkboxes, links to multiselect options, specific date selectors, text fields to specify tags, and the list goes on.

Areas for improvement

The filter panel for Tasks could definitely use a touch of simplicity. It’s a long form to fill out, especially if the user is new to the experience. Having all of the field options available to be filtered through is extremely helpful, particularly for our enterprise clients, who have hundreds (if not thousands) of portfolio tasks to go through. On the other hand, there must be a way to balance out this functional need with ease of access for user experience.

One idea is to pull filters out of modules and create a global query page. By having it as its own standalone module, users no longer have to navigate to a specific area and filter from there. No matter where a user is at any given point in their daily journey, they can quickly access all filter fields. The form itself is also limited in field options because it will apply globally across the platform and is no longer specific to the modules.

One idea is to pull filters out of modules and create a global query page. By having it as its own standalone module, users no longer have to navigate to a specific area and filter from there. No matter where a user is at any given point in their daily journey, they can quickly access all filter fields. The form itself is also limited in field options because it will apply globally across the platform and is no longer specific to the modules.

Potential impact

Filters are already used heavily but this new design may affect user happiness with our platform in a positive way. It removes the need for initial navigation through the platform and allows users to find what they need, one step faster, because in the above example, with Queries being a top-nav item, will always be accessible no matter where a user is at any point. The Tasks module doesn’t necessarily need to be a top-nav item. It only includes user specific tasks and does not allow for project or portfolio level views, so it would be limiting for users at management level to quickly look through assigned tasks in their teams. By replacing Tasks with Queries, we allow for scalability across our client base of varying sizes.