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I am developing an application for Windows Phone. Asking some of my friend to test it I realized the way I designed data forms and the application bar behaviour is very annoying.

The form design

Actually, I have a form consisted of 3 or 4 textboxes, so the user has to enter some value into them one by one, and there is Save button on the application bar which is supposed to be pressed when the user has filled all the textboxes.

Problem

The problem is that when user is typing into a textbox the on-screen keyboard appears over the next textboxes, but the application bar is still available. And when I asked people to use my application they press the Save button after filling the first text box. I don't know why but they do, so I have to do something about it.

Question

I don't like the idea of using a button in my form. I am thinking about hiding the application when the keyboard is shown, but I am not content with this as well, so I searched the web for if anyone else has this problem, I did not find anything, so here I am asking about. What is the design guideline for this scenario?

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If we've answered your question, you can select the best solution so that if anyone comes across the same problem in the future, they know the course of action. –  dnbrv Feb 7 '12 at 18:36
    
I did not find a solution to my problem and leave it as it is. It's like that my weak English prevented me from saying my meaning, so the answers are not related to my question. –  Sam Feb 8 '12 at 2:35
    
If that's the case, it'll help if you post a screenshot or a wireframe of your situation. –  dnbrv Feb 8 '12 at 4:39
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migrated from programmers.stackexchange.com Jan 14 '12 at 10:01

This question came from our site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development.

3 Answers

As it was discussed in a similar situation, entry fields & a submission button is what makes users understand that it's a form not anything else.

In your case, the submission button (Save) is visible at throughout the user's interaction with the form. This leads user to believe that it's the end of the form and/or that it can be submitted at all times, which is exactly the behavior you're observing.

There're 3 things you need to do to fix it:

  1. When the form opens, the first control shouldn't be active so that the user gets a chance to see the entire form in the screen and understand there's more than 1 field.

  2. Add the Save button to the end of the form or at least disable the button on the application bar until all fields are filled. However, it's highly recommended to remove the button from the application bar completely because it will always confuse users.

  3. Try to rearrange elements on the form so that the OSK doesn't block the next field completely.

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Somehow the user needs to know or be shown there are more boxes. Maybe you could put the labels on top. This may be enogh of a prompt and be short enough to fit on the screen.

Before or once they get into the form can there be an indication there are 4 required textboxes/pieces of data?

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What about having next and previous arrows on the appbar to move from field to field. Not being able to see the save button when the user is done typing is a PITA

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