One conclusion of HydroDesktop testing by new users in Jim Nelson's Hydrology class is the need for a quick "Search Wizard" tool leading the user through the area, variable, time and data source search steps. This need has been mainly expressed
by non-GIS users.
In HydroDesktop 1.3 we are planning to support two search methods: the ribbon based search and the 'faceted search' (developed by Alex at tufts)
Questions for the team:
1. Is adding a quick Search wizard a high priority from your point of view?
2. Should the search wizard use faceted search as the underlying search method?
3. Should we first do more testing of faceted search and postpone adding the quick search wizard to next version 1.4?
The reason why I'm suggesting the usage of 'faceted search' in the quick search wizard is the sequence of search steps. First the user selects the area. Next, when selecting the variable, it is logical if only variables that are available within the area
are shown. Next, when selecting the dates, it is logical if the available date range is limited to the date ranges for the area and variable(s)...
Another consideration when designing the quick search wizard, is the order of search steps. Do you think that the Area-> Variable -> Time Range -> Data Source is the best sequence most users would expect?