Monthly Archives: October 2015

Idea Growr updates: search, more sorting, hide question sets

As I wrote earlier in this post, it has now become easier for me to do certain types of updates to my Idea Growr app.  Here is a quick update on a couple of these updates:

First, the database update was a 100% success

I was just looking at my Analytics on the app, and I am happy to find out there where zero people that failed with their database update. I wrote earlier on why I rewrote the whole database. Good to see that extra effort payed off.



Implementing search was harder than I expected. There is a specific searchview in Android that is supposed to do the trick, but I was not able to use it. This is because the searchview is not compatible with a library I used for my list views (Easy Adapter). It turns out that library does not give the type of adapter that is needed to do a search filter.

While in theory I might be able to build around that, I was to much in unfamiliar coding terrain.. This conversation was about my exact problem, but my understanding of what was going on is too limited. Also I figured I could first try to overstep the problem by not using the searchview.

So I created a regular input field, and do the filter on the list ‘by hand’. I needed to jump some extra hoops, but in the end I got it working.  The main disadvantage is that it doesn’t have a smooth animation like the regular searchview. But since time is precious and I got other things to do, I am happy with the result.



More sort options

In the beginning in 2013 sorting was done by using these buttons:


I thought that might not always look good in all languages. So I made icons for sorting back in 2014:

Old sort icons

What I gained was a cleaner look, and no language issues. What I lost was clarity. My assumption was that sorting was only relevant for hardcore users who had many ideas. They would learn what those icons meant by using them.

That may or not be true, but in the end I wanted to add more sorting and filtering features. Using icons was not scalable. With the latest updates (v.1.43, 2015), sorting now looks like this:

Screenshot idea growr search filter

It has become fully textual. There is still the challenge of how to name them, and I’d like to hear from you in the comments what you think of this way of describing the sorting options. Perhaps I should rename some to be shorter or more easily read.

I won’t get into the details of it,  I also added search, more sorting and starring to the notes screen.

Allow user to set what question sets to show on default

Every now and then I get an e-mail for a feature request. One of them I think I got years ago, was the need to keep the idea overview screen clean by hiding question sets that you don’t plan to use.

It never got a high priority, since I thought that with just a couple of question sets the current situation was acceptable. But now I have written a couple of new question sets that I’d like to add. Because of this I decided to first give the user more control over how the idea screen can look.

In the settings the user can now select what question sets to show on default:


At Questions you can select ‘All sets containing answers, and:’


The user can here (un)check the question sets that should be shown on default on the idea overview screen. In order to help the user not get lost, you cannot hide questions you have written answers for.

Up next: more question sets

The settings screen is getting a bit crowded, and the Your own questions part eventually will need to move to a separate screen. But for now I thought it was acceptable to add it like this. I rather first invest in adding more question sets and see what people think of them. So that will be the next update.