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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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Sat, 18 Feb 2006 10:41:34 +1300
Terrence Wood <[log in to unmask]>
Terrence Wood <[log in to unmask]>
"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
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Kate Walton:
> Has anyone had experience with users accidentally changing values in 
> fields
> when intending to scroll down the page? In addition, has anyone had 
> success
> with a solution to this problem?
No to both.

> (1) [customers request] Automatically move focus to the next field 
> once the
> user has made a selection at a dropdown.
Reduces usability for keyboard only devices and other assistive 
technologies, where the user would not be able to select anything 
beyond the first option.

> (2) Change the dropdown fields to entry fields.
> drawbacks: you increase the risk of data input errors (typos, formats,
> etc.)
Depends on the info being captured, and if you can catch the errors 
(c.f typos in google's search box) or not. Most formats are easy to 
check for, usually via a decent regex and two lines of code.

Keep in mind other form usability recommendations: e.g. don't use drop 
downs for two letter abbreviations. Radios for five or less choices. 
Checkboxes for yes/no. Don't ask unnecessary questions. etc.

> (3) Provide a pop-up which presents the critical data after the user 
> has
> submitted the form.  In this way, the user would have the chance to 
> review
> their entries to ensure that everything is correct.  This could be 
> used in
> combination with other solutions.
> drawbacks: it is not a guarantee that users will notice the mistakes

Forget the popup, they're annoying. Simply split the submission into to 
stages. First stage is form completion with a button labelled 'proceed' 
or similiar. Second stage is data confirmation where there is a button 
to edit the form again, and one to submit the form.

kind regards
Terrence Wood.

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