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Old 07-07-2010, 05:10 PM
 
430 posts, read 805,116 times
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The context is to take notes. The interface or in layman's language the platform is a web page or an HTML form, which has a field called Subject.
I take it a subject (of a subject matter), within this context it naturally means a course name, for instance, "English 101".

And the system does not know what courses you are taking, so, naturally the Subject field would have 2 abilities:
a) enter a new subject
b) select a subject from a list (of existing subjects or courses).
But if we already populate it with a list elements then a) won't be possible,
so, use new technique, called "auto-suggest" (ever, type something like
"find smart individuals" at Google site?
and you don't have to type the whole damn thing, it's called auto-suggest")

What I don't understand is it seems a large number of people don't seem to get it.

So,
solution a: read this 5 lines instructions on how it works. Downside:
the very first time a user may tumble upon it.

solution b:
a) enter a new subject: [ ]
or
b) select a subject from a list [ ]
But this solution takes up more real estate for a tiny laptop or network. Besides it seems less elegant. Benefit is: every fool understands it.

I wonder if you have a better solution.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:50 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,847,759 times
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Huh?

I think I need sleep, as that makes no sense to me....
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,416 posts, read 9,585,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Huh?

I think I need sleep, as that makes no sense to me....
Thanks - I was afraid it was me.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:30 PM
 
430 posts, read 805,116 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Huh?

I think I need sleep, as that makes no sense to me....
What does not make sense?
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:59 AM
 
26,984 posts, read 38,245,116 times
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If the user is too stupid to figure it out, who cares? It's their problem, not yours.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:51 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,439 posts, read 32,279,328 times
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Give the users a link to each letter of the alphabet horizontally and let them click the first letter of their desired subject. Each link opens a separate page (or an Ajax element on the same page) with a list of all subjects that begin with that letter.

That would solve the real estate problem.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:00 AM
 
3,743 posts, read 10,954,423 times
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I'd assume you're using a drop down list, right? You could have an option for "Other" in the drop down list and keep them uncategorized. Or a field below/next to the drop down to fill in their custom response, then you'd have to check the db for the entries though. There could be static text on the page or in the text field (use javascript) that states "If 'Other', enter the subject here".

Also, how many entries will there be in the subject field? Is it as simple as math, English etc or will you need specifics like Math 301, English 101, etc? Another option is to have two drop downs, which will be easier on the user but will use more real estate. First drop down is just a subject area, like math or English. Second is the course number, like 301, 101, etc. If this will tie into a database and you want to ever find notes for specific classes, I'd suggest adding the fields to the database and the front end.

Not sure auto-suggest is needed here. How important is it to get an exact subject name? Also, just how important is screen real estate? Even if you were developing for a 800x600 resolution, there should be plenty of space for some text fields and instructions. How big is the overall form you're trying to build?

Last edited by Sayantsi; 07-08-2010 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:10 AM
 
3,743 posts, read 10,954,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
If the user is too stupid to figure it out, who cares? It's their problem, not yours.
I really hope you're not being serious - that's exactly the wrong attitude to take regarding user interface design.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:38 AM
 
26,984 posts, read 38,245,116 times
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I'm not. But it was fun to see how long it would take for someone to bring it up...
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:47 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,847,759 times
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Lol!
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