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Visualized Search Criteria/Results Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014267D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Oct-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19

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There are several challenges to depicting search criteria. Some criteria are basically textual in nature, e.g., numerics or alpha characters. Other criteria are ranges of numbers or alpha strings, e.g., Less than 10%, 10%-20%, etc.. Some criteria are chosen by equality and others by logic strings, e.g., greater than x; or, 5 x 25; etc. Many times, multiple sets of criteria are used in a single search, which imposes many burdens on the user interface and usability of such systems. Along with complexity of specifying search criteria, there is difficulty in understanding how the criteria influenced the search and the scope of search results relative to the data being investigated. In other words, for multi-parameter searches, it is sometimes a challenge to determine how specific criteria influenced results without detailed investigation of data. A visualization device for criteria selection and scope of results is proposed. Conventional collections of search criteria are visually depicted on a user interface as visual fields with Visual Selectors for data/range/operator. The Selectors are used to pick a specific value or range of values to search for, together with logic operators if allowed. As a Selector is manipulated by a user, the type of search to be performed in visualized in the Visual Crierion Field. For example, if the Selector is moved to a certain location within the field, the search logic is visualized in the field, e.g., x 25 is displayed in the field. Pairs of Visual Selectors are used to select data ranges, e.g., 25 x 35, and these ranges are depicted Specific operators can be selected on the Visual Selector via a contextual menu that displays valid operations.