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GUI Design: SELECT Object Alternative?
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Master
posted
Greetings Focal Point Community,

My HTML form has a SELECT element object. The dropdown list consists of CARs stored on the FOCUS CAR database:






My users choose an option, and my Focexec uses the returned value, to set up the selection of a FOCUS report.

Life was good. For a while...

My new requirement is to allow users to select multiple CARs from the drop down list box.

So I amend my SELECT tag to accept multiple selections:








Hold Ctrl Key to Select Multiple Cars

Hold Shift Key to Select a Range of Cars







Functionally, this works fine. Multiple values are returned to my Focexec, and my report runs A-OK.

My question is: From the point of view of the web page user, is a SELECT tag, with the MULTIPLE attribute, the best way to obtain multiple values?

I'm a little uncomfortable with asking my users to press the Control key or the Shift key.

I'm sensitive to the number of key presses and clicks, I ask my users to perform.

Is asking a user to press the Control/Shift keys, while clicking, asking for too much?

Or am I being a little too protective?

Are there any alternatives, to the SELECT tag with MULTIPLE attribute, that you have used, and your users liked?

Thank you for your consideration.

Regards,
Dave

This message has been edited. Last edited by: <Mabel>,
 
Posts: 780 | Registered: April 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold member
posted Hide Post
Dave,

Sounds like you're contemplating various design and usability issues. Depending on the nature of the appliaction you are building, and the number of choices you are going to give the users, that should determine some of your answers.

Additionally, I'd like to offer the following information:

What version of WebFOCUS/Dev Studio are you currently using?

Developer Studio 5.2.3 and higher has some great developmental capabilities for web applications (we call them Self Service applications), using a feature called the Resource Layout tool.

The Resource Layout tool is a feature within Dev Studio that is used for making the HTML launch pages for your apps.

In the Layout tool, you can import your existing FEX's - and if there are parameters in them (&variables), the Layout tool will detect them and create your (user) choices for you, i.e. List boxes, Drop Downs, etc. They can also be changed to check boxes, radio buttons, etc.

You can also "link" parameters together in the Layout tool such that when a user chooses something in "Step 1", that determines what choices they will have in "Step 2", etc.

Documentation for this can be found at http://docservices.ibi.com and you can do a search for "Resource Layout Tool" (minus the quotes).

I have several screen captures I can show you that mix radio buttons, check boxes, list boxes, etc.

On a final note, when you are creating procedures in which you want to allow multi selecting, you can do it right in the Report Painter. The key factor is using the "OR" value. Here's a code snipet from a procedure that has several parameters (including output format):

TABLE FILE CENTORD
SUM
LINEPRICE
LINE_COGS
BY
PLANTLNG
BY
STATE
BY
STORENAME
BY
PRODCAT
WHERE ( PLANTLNG EQ &PLANT.(OR(Boston,Dallas)).Choose Plant:. ) AND ( STATE EQ &STATE.(OR(AL,AR)).Choose States:. ) AND ( STORENAME EQ &STORENAME.(OR(Audio Expert,City Video)).Choose Stores:. );
ON TABLE SET PAGE-NUM OFF
ON TABLE NOTOTAL
ON TABLE PCHOLD FORMAT '&WFFMT.(EXL2K,HTML,PDF).Choose Display:.'
ON TABLE SET HTMLCSS ON
ON TABLE SET STYLE *
.......
 
Posts: 55 | Registered: May 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
Thank you for your reply post, Denver RSE.

Yes, I am contemplating design/usability issues.

I am in 'right brain' mode, thinking of the best way to present a list of options, and allow multiple selections.

Good point, about the importance of the number of choices I need to give the users.

The number of CARs to be displayed is dependent upon the users security level. At the low end, Henry Ford V will see about a dozen CARs. At the high end, Henry Ford IV will need to select from about 3,000 CARs.

(In the current implementation, I have a 'Find' box, which makes finding a single CAR easy.)

You asked about Dev Studio. We code our report launch pages, in HTML/JavaScript directly into -HTMLFORMs. Were appropriate, our HTML/JavaScript is created dynamically by WebFOCUS, and inserted within the -HTMLFORM.

Yes, if you have screen captures that show a blend of window objects that might help my right brain engage, I'd love to see them.

Regards,
Dave
 
Posts: 780 | Registered: April 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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