Improved Design of Filtering in Smart Table Personalization

Smart table personalization dialog helps the user to control visibility and ordering, sorting, grouping and filtering of the columns. These are organized as separate tabs. The dialog can be opened by selecting the Settings button on the table header. All of these functions evolved over the past few years significantly.

So let me introduce you with the filter tab optimization that comes with SAPUI5 as of version 1.108 and helps the user to have very similar experience almost like working with the filter bar.

The filter tab functionality in general is very similar to what a filter bar usually would do. The user would enter different filtering criteria and then get the results in the table. Until now, the layout of the filter tab was having completely different design compared to the filter bar. Moreover, filtering fields didn’t have the possibility of having value helps. So, let’s see what has changed.

This is what was the personalization dialog design before SAPUI5 version 1.108.

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Design before SAPUI5 version 1.108

For each column condition you had to have single entry. In cases, where you need many conditions for a column the list could become long, and you have to scroll. Moreover, the screen is visually cluttered with data.

The new design introduces a drop-down list with all available columns that are filterable. By choosing one of the column entries in the drop-down a new filter entry is created on the screen. Thus, ‘Add’ button is not needed anymore. The corresponding column entry is removed from the drop-down, so it can’t be added again.

Also, the new design introduces multi-input fields like in the filter bar, that saves vertical space in case of multiple conditions. Filter tab now also respects filter-restriction annotation, so you could have single value fields, multiple or interval.

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Design as of SAPUI5 version 1.108

Another improvement is that filter fields now can have value helps for multi-input, just like in the filter bar. So, if a property has a defined value-list annotation and is filterable it will automatically get value help with search and select. In case no-value list was defined it’ll get only the possibility to define conditions, like in filter field.

Nowadays columns of the smart table have context menu that allows the user to sort and filter. This is more understandable for the user as actions are having context. Clicking on a button somewhere else often is a source of confusion to the user if the settings are related to the table, filter bar, or something else.

With the new design, when the user chooses filter option from the column header menu only filter tab would open in a dialog with an entry for the chosen column. See the two pictures below.

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Column header menu Filter option

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Filter tab opened from column header menu

Column header menu is also going to be improved even more with richer in-place functionality covering all actions that can be done via the personalization dialog. This way the user interaction would be improved.

Due to the changes of the control, tests that rely on control layout i.e. specific control IDs should be adapted accordingly.

Working with an UI that has strange design decisions, interactive elements that are not optimal or get in the way every time you have to complete a task can be really frustrating to say the least. That’s why we always try to listen to the feedback we get, even it is often contradicting. Even the tiny details we change if we see that it makes sense as we try to always deliver what’s best for the users. The new design of the filter tab was also a result of such journey. So, as always, we stay open for additional feedback!