i asked this question on stackoverflow and has been redirected here. sorry about cross-posting.
i am writing a financial application and i need to write a specialized file open dialog for the user to be able to load stock data files in two different formats: Computrac and CSI.
my dialog has a list view where i need to show these data files.
the format of CSI files can interpreted in three different ways and i need to ask the user which way they prefer. for that i am planning to have a drop down box in each CSI row that the user can change.
the Computrac format can be interpreted in two ways, and for that i have a checkbox.
i am thinking to place these checkboxes/dropdowns in a separate column and show them only for selected item(s) and hide them for unselected items. below is the screen shot.
my question to the usability experts: is this confusing? is there a better way? showing them for every item would make the table crowded, would it not? on the other hand, when there is no selection, the user won't see these controls at all and would not know that they are there.
this file import dialog is a wizard. the first step asks the user to select a directory where to search for data files. the second step is shown in the screen shot. it gives a list of files found. they may not necessarily be in the same directory.
the user can import more than one file. the imported data are going to be stored in the program's database in a unified format that removes differences between CSI and Computrac. so to start working with data the user will first have to import them and then open a particular data series from the program's database.
so adding a third step to the wizard that asks whether they want to ignore DOP files or to select the price extension scheme makes little sense if they want to import multiple files.
i do not like having data import options in every row. and since i do not expect users to import data often, maybe it is better to have an "options" button in this screen that would let the user to set import options that would apply to all files imported in this dialog invocation? kind of like the third step suggested by Erion below...
please give me your opinions. thanks konstantin