Help us decide about Filters on the website

I am looking to simplify the filters on the website - there are currently too many! According to stats, not many of them are ever used.

This doesn’t mean the information would be removed - if for example I removed the “Showrunner” filter, I could replace it with a page that lists each show runner and clicking one will show all their stories (which would then be filterable)… just need to know which ones are useful to filter as you browse the site.

Also any general feedback about the filters, how they work, should they be “AND” or “OR” filters, etc. is useful.

Media and Range

These are important, so I wont’ remove them, but looking for feedback. Media is stuff like TV, Books, etc. Range is things like Doctor Who, Torchwood, K9.

Regarding ranges, I copied how Big Finish categorise things, but am not entirely happy with “The Worlds of Doctor Who” being such a catch-all. What do you think?

Doctor

This will stay, it’s very important. @SweetAIBelle has asked if I can add a way of filtering for example stories with one Doctor or another, but not both (so an OR filter) - not sure how useful that would be in general.

Companions & Allies

This is staying, it’s important, but it may be merged with the next one:

Monsters, Species and Nemesis

Struggled with this for a long time. It’s not just villains, but any species. A bit too broad. Plans to merge with Characters somehow. Although there will always be an easy way to filter by the top monsters like Daleks etc.

My Stories

Patrons-only feature, which allows you to filter by stories you’ve completed, rated, favourited. This will stay.

Series

Not sure how important this is. It can be useful sometimes, but there’s such a huge list?

Historical Characters

This is fun, but probably not that useful at the moment?

Location

This still needs some work, as the recent import of Comics has meant there are lots more locations that need categorising.

I am thinking of drastically reducing the number of locations here, maybe just the big ones - Earth, Exoplanets, Space, Gallifrey, Parallel Universe, TARDIS, Skaro?

Showrunner

I think this can be removed and replaced with some new pages

Writer

There are so many! Maybe this is replaced with a special page. I don’t really know if it’s that useful to have always available?

Director

Same as writer

Time Travel

This is quite fun and not many options, it could stay.

Set

Like Series, I think there are too many for this to be useful.

Era

This is only for TV stories, I think it could go and perhaps be replaced with 3 special pages for Classic, Revival, and Modern Eras.

Added to the site

This is only temporary while we work on the site. I might make it opt-in, under My Account.

Available for free

This is very useful I think, I still need to add my guide to everything available for free.

Story Type

This is useful and there aren’t many options, so it could stay or be one that you turn on and off?

Trope

A pet project of mine, very fun, not super useful though. What do you think? Replace with pages?

Inventory

I think this is too incomplete and silly to keep, maybe replace with pages.

Date

Useful, this will stay

Ratings

Useful, I think this will stay.

Missing

This is already something you have to manually add. It only affects Classic stories.

Viewers and Appreciation Index

Again, you have to add these manually. As they are not good metrics to compare Classic and newer stories, they are probably more misleading than anything. I might remove.


Thanks, let me know what you think!

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The ones I use the most are:

  • Set
  • Series
  • Writer
  • Director
  • Era

Generally I filter them from a story listing. I only really use the Patreon features when I’m actively filtering on a search page.

Hope that helps.

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One of the reasons for combining Companions & Allies with Monsters, Species and Nemesis is that characters can flip back and forth between being an ally and an enemy. The Master, for example, has been an ally a number of times as well as an enemy…

Species, OTOH, should be a separate category.

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I think my biggest wants for filters would be the ability to change and or into an AND, OR a XOR, and the ability to filter by not certian tropes, writers, directors, etc

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In what case do you need or and xor? I am trying to figure one out but I cant.

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The only ones I ever use are media and ranking really. Writer I have also used occassionally, but I don’t do that much sorting tbh. Worlds being a catchall I think has its uses because there are so many little random spinoffs

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Some of these, like Writer or Director, I don’t often use as filters but do like to use to see stats about whatever group of stories I’m looking at. For example, I can look at my favorites list and see that my most-favorited writer is Steven Moffat and most favorited director is Rachel Talalay.

I also definitely would like to have an or filter for Doctors and also for other filters.

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Likewise, although every time I go to ranking I remember that it isn’t too useful for me. I don’t particularly like the “and up” aspect of it (e.g. clicking four stars shows you everything ranked from 4 to 5 stars). I’d rather it just be 4-4.5, and then if a user also wants to see five-starred content, they can click both.

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it’s a bit niche to be fair, but those types of filter controls are just something I personally find really nice to have and love to use when scanning through these sorts of things

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I think a “By Year” filter (where you can easily select 2013 or 1970 or 1996) or fixing the Date filter so we can manually type in the dates we want (it currently only utilizes a drop down calendar that’s functional, but a lot of clicks the further back you want to go) would be an improvement.

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I think EXCLUDE would be more useful than OR. I will note I’m very used to the way AO3 uses filters, but I do think it’s a great system. This way you can exclude the characters/Doctors/ect. that you don’t want, and get the OR options anyway. (This won’t work for multi-Doctor stories, but I could live with that.) I think doing this rather than AND, OR, and EXCLUDE would probably be easier.

Doctor, Companions, Monsters, and Series are all useful and should probably be kept as-is, though I think perhaps a drop down, “start typing here” style menu would work better for the longer lists, especially if you keep the most used characters/series on top and add this feature for those who only have a handful of appearances or people might not filter for as often. (Again, this is taking a page out of AO3’s book. I know that site has been built over years with many volunteers so it’s probably pretty difficult to emulate and I understand if that’s too big an undertaking for this site. I just think it’s a fantastic way to organise an archive.)

How AO3 does it, for reference


(Using the Doctor Who tag as a base)
The first ten most often used tags in each category, and then you have the “Other tags to include” section, where you can input tags from any category and it will fill them in. I think for this site it would work better to have a menu like this in each category rather than at the bottom. I also think it would be better to have the include/exclude buttons either be the same button (clicked multiple times to swap) or side by side, rather than seperate sections like they are on AO3. I’d like to note that AO3 waits for you to filter everything and then click “Sort and Filter” before refreshing the page, which is not what TARDIS Guide does but possibly works better for this system of filtration. I don’t personally have a preference.

I agree that Showrunner, Director, Writer, Era, Trope, and Inventory would likely work better as pages. They’re fun to check out and look over, but I don’t know how many people actually filter like that; I certainly don’t. Same for Available for Free - I think if you’re looking for free stories you probably aren’t super picky and would benefit from having them all in one place anyway.

(Sorry this is mostly just me gushing about AO3’s filter system, I just think it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen and all archiving sites should look at it for inspiration)

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Hmmm, a few requests for being able to exclude things but I’ve never felt the need to do that, and it’s not something the software I am using does so would have to be a custom build.

Thinking about it!

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The usecases I can se:

  • I want to read a Tenth Doctor novel but I am a bit tired of Rose right now.
  • Wonder what is the highest-rated Big Finish story with no doctor in it.

Don’t think that it has a very high priority but I would put it on the backlog :slight_smile:

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Exclude is definitely the thing I want the most, yeah

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Ooof, absolutely fair

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I’ve reworked the “rating” filter, let me know if this is better. It works just like the patrons-only “my rating” filter - you can choose the rating you want to see, choose as many as you like.

(There are only 2 5-star stories, both with too few ratings to actually get a good average. If you’ve read Buyer’s Remorse or The Glorious Dead please do me a favour and rate it so this can shift!)

I’ve added a Year filter too, so you can view all stories in a set year, and choose as many as you like!

Hope you enjoy :blush:

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Lovely! Thank you!

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I’d prefer it if no filters are removed as they’re all going to be useful to someone at some point. Perhaps filters with long lists could use a search bar to select options instead of tick boxes?

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The problem is, having so many filters slows down the site in some ways.

As I said, some of the very niche ones could just be reworked into pages (which can themselves be filtered), rather than ever-present and barely-used filters.

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Ok that makes sense. If you have to remove some, I’d really rather you didn’t remove the series filter because I find that one very useful.

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