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I'm working on an enhancement for an application. The enhancement allows the users to validate and view the errors on their uploaded data.

These errors are something the user would need to revisit. They would like to be able to view the errors to edit the data and make corrections.

Would it be better to display them on a pop-up window or a new tab? Or, display on same tab, but with an option to pop-out?

As a user, what option is the best?

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It's not really a form validation that I'm doing. It's validation of data they are uploading to the system. These validations are a list of rules that are defined by business. This can also be, in some cases, an offline process. So I need the user to have the ability to log back in and click on the link to view the errors. Hence, inline validation is not really an option as it's a server side action. – Pindub_Amateur Mar 22 at 15:06
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Please edit your original post, and explain your needs in more detail. You are getting answers you are saying do not meet your needs because you are being too vague. From your comments, it sounds like you may be talking about an "asynchronous" operation, where the user submits a job, then at some later point you need to communicate that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. – Baronz Mar 22 at 16:45
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Here are some questions you should answer in your edit: 1) Is this a client executable program or web page --- 2) Is the issue something that can't be validated at the time of original input --- 3) If not, how long after initial input do you know there's an issue? (1 second, 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day?) --- 4) Are you sure they'll still have your app or web page open? --- 5) If it's a client app, what is the screen size (phone/tablet/laptop)? ... – Baronz Mar 22 at 16:46

Inline Field Validation

I would recommend to stay on the same-tab, with validation in-place (inline) like this example:

enter image description here

This is a common design paradigm now that web form internet users are accustomed to. I don't know why you'd need a pop-out or a new tab.

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The correct term is inline validation. Use jQuery [validation plugin] (jqueryvalidation.org). Opening a new page or pop-up windows should be avoided. – Kristiyan Lukanov Mar 22 at 14:01
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It's not really a form validation that I'm doing. It's validation of data they are uploading to the system. These validations are a list of rules that are defined by business. This can also be, in some cases, an offline process. So I need the user to have the ability to log back in and click on the link to view the errors. Hence, inline validation is not really an option as it's a server side action. – Pindub_Amateur Mar 22 at 15:06
    
@Pindub_Amateur That just mean that the validation is not a real time process. If the user is able to correct the data, and meaningful descriptions can be given an inline display of the problems will still be the easiest to relate to. – Taemyr Mar 23 at 10:58

Typically, pop ups are considered to be annoying, with many browsers disabling pop ups by default. Sometimes they go behind the main browser window and creates additional usability problems. So its not just advertising that brings down the pop up's reputation.

In your case, your users already trust your application as they're presumably uploading some data to your server. I'd also assume that the errors you're talking about would need to be referenced by your users in order to fix problems with their uploads.

For your particular case, you could consider the now widely used overlays.

Overlays are now being used on most popular websites, extensively for providing user help. You can read more about this here. The primary advantage of an overlay is that it would allow the user to interact with your primary browser page while the overlay is open.

Additionally, you can give the user an option to convert the overlay into a pop up box if they wish.

I'd also consider the possiblity of just displaying the errors in a persistent box on the top of the page and pushing rest of the content down.

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I would consider the following approach

  • Display the errors as a list, with identifying data on left and e.g. initial part of main error message on right.

  • Allow users to click on a row to correct corresponding data, display that in a pop-up form.

  • Allow "next error" navigation in the pop-up so they don't have to close the popup to deal with the next error, but can do if they want - e.g. to skip ahead or reorder list etc.

There can be complications, as often there are dependencies between field values. So fixing one error might also fix other errors (or introduce them). Also you might need to handle multiple errors per item. It can be hard to do this in a way that keeps it simple to also handle the simple cases.

I would use pop-ups because it leaves some context visible in the background that helps preserve some notion of progress that might otherwise become hidden and give the feeling of being lost in a maze of twisty passages, all different.

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