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I am working on a payment solution.

One of the main actions is adding a Beneficiary (payment receiver). To add beneficiary you need to specify the currency and the country of that beneficiary.

At the moment I am using something similar to these two examples: http://ivaynberg.github.io/select2/ http://harvesthq.github.io/chosen/#selected-and-disabled-support to select the currency or the country

I decided to use this widget because it incorporates 3 actions:

1) The user can use dropdown to view all the currencies that we support (not all currencies are supported)

2) The user can search the currency - GBP, Pound Sterling, Great British...

3) Autocomplete - so the user doesn't have to type the whole thing out.

Is there a better way to do this? What is it?

Or am I overthinking this and should stick with a input box and autocomplete only?

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2 Answers 2

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The user should be in control of a widget, get feedback, and know the affordances.

So, there are two things to consider:

  • I understand you have a web service; what will happen when the user is using a mobile device?
  • What will happen if the user isn't sure what currency a country is using? There might have been a change of name, or a change of currency altogether.

For these reasons, the answer depends on how many currencies you support. If it's five or seven currencies, then a simple dropdown will be fine. The user will feel in control of the widget, know where to click, and if their currency is available at all. The cognitive workload will be small.

If it's thirty five, problem! That's where you would need an autocomplete field to eliminate choices, and thus also the cognitive workload. The component will have to make it obvious where to type and if the user has successfully selected their currency. But: in this case do not forget to test on mobile too!

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Completely agree about the user being in control! We support at least 25 different currencies, so a normal dropdown would be too much. We have considered mobile, and I think we will have to do similar thing to "Amount": search + eliminate choices. Thank you! –  Igor-G Nov 7 '13 at 14:17
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It is easier for users to select a country than a currency: Try to detect the country of the user (e.g. by browser localization) or select a default if it couldn't be detected. Let the user choose the country if it isn't correct.

Than set the currency for that country and when that isn't what the user wants, let him/her choose one him/herself. If the user chooses a currency before a country, than don't change the currency automatically after the country is chosen.

I wouldn't let the user type in a input field by the way. Drop downs allow users to see what options they have and allow typing as well to quickly jump to their choice. For the last to work use the HTML select element or use a css/javascript equivalent that supports this. (Your both examples have such feature).

By the way I like the second example. It immediately has focus on the search box like it is "advising" you to type instead of scroll all the way down.

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