What Problem Does This Solve?
Users need to quickly update or modify an existing record.
When to Use This Pattern
Use to assist editors in finding the feature, object, or record that needs to be updated. Editors may be operators receiving phone calls from customers or subscribers requesting updates to their accounts, or field crews updating assignments or work orders. This pattern is especially useful with large or unfamiliar datasets, i.e. it would take a long time to zoom to the area of interest, select the correct layer, and identify the feature.
What’s the Solution?
Instead of browsing through endless lists or unwieldy navigation of the map the user simply searches for keywords or characters to find the item in question and selects the correct result. Unified Search with federated search and type-ahead suggestions is a great starting point. Once the desired result is selected the map zooms to that feature and shows an InfoWindow with more information about the item, potentially some statistics, and an action button that reads ‘View Details’, ‘Open for Edit’, ‘Update Record’ or similar. Upon clicking this button the content of the item is opened in a separate panel. Full Map layouts may choose an InfoPanel to do so, Partial Map layouts typically utilize the content area of the side panel.
Why Use This Pattern?
Any management system requires grooming and maintenance. As datasets grow larger in volume and are less familiar with its content the ability to search becomes paramount to quickly find items. The main reason for searching is mostly the need to update or correct its data.
This workflow makes use of three patterns described earlier in this book: Unified Search, Info Window, and List & Details. Individual considerations for each one of them apply to the Search & Edit workflow as well. Deviations to those patterns are:
- After selecting a search result it can be useful to keep the results list open – or provide an easy way to recover the search – so that users can jump between results until the desired item is found.
- Structure the content of the Info Window such that users can assert quickly the usefulness of the chosen feature
- If the app contains a list of items besides the map it is preferred to mirror list columns in the Info Window.
- Consider opening the item details in view mode instead of offering an editing form right away; offer an easy way to trigger edit mode with explicit save and cancel actions that both navigate back to the item details.
Alternative actions on the item after searching and displaying are: Close, Transfer, Attach, Share, and more.