Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

So, I have a form for doing data entry where there is a list of items which have three fields. The first two fields of each item are multiple-choice from five options, the third field is a simple comment text field. There could be up to 50 lines of items.

It is expected that the users of this data-entry form will be using it multiple times in one session, and could be considered experts. That is, this isn't an interface which will used by the general public.

This is what I have so far:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

An alternative interface being considered is the following, where radio buttons are used instead of a drop-down select:

mockup

download bmml source

There will likely also be an upload/import function, separate from this data-entry form.

Any suggestions for better ways of doing this?

share|improve this question
    
Yes, there will be usability testing of the various candidate solutions. –  Erics Mar 2 '13 at 15:50
    
Very similar to ux.stackexchange.com/questions/35872/… –  André Mar 6 '13 at 11:18

4 Answers 4

If you are looking for the fastest way for experts to enter the data, you should focus on keyboard entry with keyboard navigation.

I would rename Alpha and Beta to "Alpha (1-5)" and "Beta (1-5)", and make them text entry areas restricted to the numbers 1-5. You should have some sort of client side validation to ensure that no other numbers are used. I would then make sure that it is visually clear which field is currently active, and allow people to tab between fields.

A slightly modified option (but less discoverable) would be to allow the numbers 1-5 to select the corresponding radio button, and then allow tabbing between fields. This makes it more accessible to non-expert users, while still allowing expert users to enter quickly. You however have to deal with educating them about the keyboard number entry.

Nothing I have seen that uses a mouse has ever come close to this in speed for data entry.

share|improve this answer

Are the options in the first two fields always going to be the values 1-5, or does your description and wireframe mean to say that there will always be five options but these will be different in each field?

share|improve this answer
    
The options for Alpha and Beta are the same 5 codes for each item, and are the same codes for every instance of the form. The codes are not actually literally "1" thru "5". –  Erics Mar 2 '13 at 16:56

Your alternative way of enter data is more user friendly.(just click click click) But the repeating 1 2 3 4 5 is annoying. you could remove it and adjust it in one row blow the alpha and beta

share|improve this answer
    
Maybe more user friendly for a mouse user, but certainly not for a keyboard user. Having to tab through each option on the radio button group each time! Strewth, that is very un-user friendly. –  JonW Mar 5 '13 at 18:01

The fastest flow seems something like this on the keyboard:

Focus on Alpha
1 Tab 
Focus on Beta
4 Tab
Focus on Gamma
foobar comment Tab
Enter
Change Focus to next row 
share|improve this answer
1  
Seems to me, you can loose the tabs in between too. Focus can shift automatically to allow for fast data entry. Typing 14foobar comment[enter] would do. –  André Mar 6 '13 at 11:21
    
@André Your idea might work faster. Though sometimes it is a matter of habit I feel. Some users find the focus shift on Tab more natural. Depends. –  curious_cat Mar 6 '13 at 11:43

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.