I have 4 different types of external log data that can be opened in my desktop application. They are displayed as tables. Each of these columns has some common columns (for example, timestamps), but most columns are completely different from the other types of protocols.
Since it would be useful to display "combined" versions of these tables on a single tab, I'd like to implement this feature, but I'm struggling to find a workable solution.
Please comment if the use case is unclear.
To be honest, I have three ideas, but I'm not satisfied with anybody. Please do not hesitate to suggest another option. Which is the best way to solve this problem?
First idea: Naive combination
Just add all unique columns (over 30, if in my case all 4 types are open) to a table. Although the visibility of columns can be switched, many columns are still displayed, as most, as mentioned, are unique.
- Too many columns.
- The content of unique columns is separated. For example, All data of protocol type A may be on the left side of the table, all data of protocol type B on the right side.
Second idea: stacked columns
Suppose I open two types of logs.
The table heading then consists of two lines: one for the protocol type A and one for the protocol type B. Each line contains the columns for this type, provided that they are unique. For ambiguous columns, two headers are simply merged into one.
The position of the columns can be configured for each header. Resizing, however, would not be possible.
- Maybe it's hard for the user to understand first.
- For example, a cell of a column may contain a different information type than the following. For this, I could either color the lines for identifying the protocol type slightly or add a textual / visual identification of the protocol type as the first column. (or both)
Third idea: x tables in a tab with a ghostlike scroll bar
For example, Place two tables next to each other and sync the scroll bars so that the next timestamp is present.
- Probably easy to understand for the user
- Self-moving scroll bars
- Each table may only display a portion of the columns
- What if 4 types of logs are opened? Would a 2×2 grid be displayed?
- In the end, only an even worse version of Idea # 1
Fourth idea: It's your turn