Is there a better way to input one of many similar values?
8 Dec 2011 - 4:14pm
3 years ago
text string. The values for these strings are quite similar; ABCDEF1,
ABCDEF2, etc. Our present solution is an autocomplete widget that
gives suggestions as the user types. If you type A it may suggest AB,
AC, AD, AD1, and so on. Each letter typed narrows the selection.
This works very well for both sparse and normal distributions of input
strings. However, for our data it's not helping that much since all
the variation in the strings is at the end, meaning users have to type
the majority of the string anyway and then get presented with a
still-long list of undifferentiated options. In fact, some parts of
the app might have values ABCDEF1 - ABCDEF50 which means the
auto-complete suggestion pattern isn't giving much value.
The problem is that I don't know of a better mechanism. Selection of
any sort seems out of the question. I've thought about adding shortcut
keys but I can't figure out how to make them discoverable.