I'm a programmer working on a web project.
We need the user to select one item from a given list of universities. It's a list of 100+ elements, and the frontend is XHTML/css/js.
Here are the options we came up with:
select. Advantages: advanced user could simply type in the beginning of the University name; we are certain (user editing html apart, but we took care of it in validation) the user will select one and only one university. Drawbacks: naive users will have to scroll down the list.
Ajax-ish suggestions/autocomplete We already use it for city selection, so it won't be hard to implement. Still, we need to be sure that the input field is one of the list. This might lead to awkward error messages (You have to select one of the items that - er - come out while you're typing the name), but will be faster if the user picks it up immediately.
Which one would you recommend?
- The case presented is the only one in which the user would be required to type in exactly one of the ajax suggestions;
- I am for the first solution, altough I tried to be as unbiased as possible in exposing the problem.