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18

A dropdown list (or combobox) should already be a clear indication that you need to select an item from there, so wasting the first item by telling someone this is redundant and a poor idea. The only times that I would recommend having some other text in the dropdown are: when it is not essential to select an item when you want effectively to select ...


14

While there are a few different ways to do what your asking; I prefer the "free tag" input method (not sure if there is a better name for this component). Basically users are allowed to enter in terms/tags/values into an makeshift input. Suggested/autocompleted terms terms/tags appear to the user as they type. As terms are completed/selected they appear in ...


8

Radio buttons actually have a very different physical analogy than the paper one you mention: That's also why they are called radio button. I don't know who invented the combo box or how he came up with the idea. I don't think that anyone here will be able to state with confidence how the inventor came up with the idea. I do think your statement that ...


6

The most obvious case when to prefer such a component over a classical one is when the user is able to input something of their own that doesn't yet exist in the system (e.g. tag/classify some items). This kind of input component works also as a direct way to both create new items and select those that already exist. The new items can then be ...


5

In general it is always descending. But for forecast, it is best to use ascending. Simply because forecast always means future, so always have date from now to the future. If you see weather forecast it is also ascending link. If you look at the stock market, it always shows dates in ascending order. If you think of 2020, I would suggest instead of giving ...


5

One way of doing this is to have radio buttons: * Existing Item | Choose item combobox | * New Item | Text field to make new item | You'd disable the the combo box when selecting "New Item" and vice versa. You could also compact this down to * Existing Item * New Item | Combo box OR Text field depending on what's selected | ...


5

Did you see how GMail solved it? I think it's pretty elegant and efficient to use: No selection / text input: Text input without match (creates new label on enter):


5

Dropdown lists came out of good design, just like radio buttons :). It's not about importing an analogy from the physical world, it's about providing a solution to a design problem. There was a need to let people choose out of a list of options, without having the list take up all your real estate. One solution would be to put the list inside a modal window, ...


5

Long lists or where unavailable options don't matter When you have long lists, or where unavailable options don't matter, you can simply leave them out. Airline flight booking is an example of this. If I chose a starting point, I only care what my possible destinations are, and so this is far better than a list of all possible destinations with everything ...


4

Menus have been an integral part of a GUI, right from it's inception. The Xerox Star was the first GUI system with the WIMP (Windows, Icon, Menus and Pointer) metaphor. Later Mac was the first one to gain commercial success with it's Mac OS 1.1 in 1984. The earliest example of the interaction of scrolling a list/rolling out a list is the parchment paper ...


4

Your first option is fine, except I'd list the selected items horizontally under the combo. This doesn't mess up your layout as much as the vertical list. The solutions that put the selected items within the visible row do not scale beyond two or three very short items, not to mention long ones. They also don't let you easily remove your items, because you ...


4

It should be listed. And the default behaviour of browser combox box dropdowns is to have the selected item as first item. Otherwise, clicking the combo box, it would be unclear how to retain the currently selected value once the drop down has opened. While clicking outside the combo box might reselect or reset to the currently selected value, it is much ...


4

Looks like the Windows 7 UX Guide has some pointers specific to special values which they refer to as meta-options. The same recommendations are also made for meta-options wihtin ComboBoxes. Place options that represent All or None at the beginning of the list, regardless of sort order of the remaining items. Enclose meta-options in parentheses. ...


4

Assuming you mean you want to show that the value has changed and therefore the user needs to hit "Save" you could do one of the following: Change the border of the control. This might be hard to spot or get confused with validation errors and may well remove the 3D appearance (depending on how you do it). Add some sort of mark (asterisk, dagger, ...


4

On iOS devices, the "drop down" control is rendered as a large-target control that takes up half the screen and allows the user to swipe through the list easily. Whichever item is in the middle of the reticle is selected. This way, you only need to touch to activate the control, swipe to select, and touch again to confirm. These touches aren't superfluous ...


4

Grey out the invalid/not-available options in the output field. It is similar to the contextual menus we are so used to. Just make sure the user is aware of the relation between the two combo-boxes. Inthe mockup, C is selected for input and correspondingly, 1 and 4 are disabled in output. When you grey out the options, they are still visible, but, ...


3

Choice restriction for data not having sense in this task quite enough also isn't present sense to change an order, it can create a small embarrassment with changing chronology ordering model, for example month sorted from DEC to JAN. I can't tell precisely what such as tasks more in your case, drawing up of reports or forecasts. Therefore value by ...


3

If there is only one option selectable, pre-fill the combobox, and remove the ability to make changes by greying it out. It's context sensitive without messing with the user by actively showing them what is going on but making sure they don't think that they can change it, and without hiding things from them/making them look for it.


3

In addition to the advantage Jawa points out, the "smart" multiselect box also excels at allowing the user to select from an incredibly large number of results via filtering. As the user types "cat" in the text field, the drop-down can display only entries containing "cat," instantly showing the user whether the field they're looking for exists. If it does ...


3

Another option would be to just simply add a "Add" or "New [Type]" link next to the dropdown... this would ideally open a modal window with a form for the item's attributes (if there's more than one, otherwise the window's probably not needed), and once saved, close the window, refresh the dropdown, and select the new item.


3

Your situation is outside of the norm, so don't expect a guide to cover your situation exactly. Look for a similar principle and apply your judgement. I would argue that you should put the control in a group label (as per your first example) to clearly indicate that the settings are related to the control. Microsoft's guidelines assume that the controls ...


3

There is no such thing as "one solution to fit em all" for this case (as probably there is no such thing as universal solution for many other problems in UX design). My advice is never to combine comboboxes though - it is messy and misleading. You need to think about what do you want your user to achieve. Next try think about what you try to achieve. Lets ...


3

Type-ahead Filter: If the field when entered displays a drop-down of all eligible values, and when the user starts typing into the field the options in the drop-down is reduced by hiding non-matching values, then this is a type-ahead filter. Auto-Suggest Field: A type-ahead field which does not display the drop-down when first entered, instead waiting ...


3

I would suggest an option like "Other Reason", which, if selected, pops up a textbox below with the prompt "Please describe your reason:". This seems to be a common practice and it mirrors physical form design. I would advise against putting the drop down item text in parentheses; if anything, you could put hint text in parentheses, i.e. "Other Reason ...


3

Since you're using (what looks to me) a standard component I assume that customization is limited. Therefore I would suggest that you use something that is easily accomplished, noticeable and recognizable. The Unicode for the paperclip would probably work great. That cues that there's something attached to the item (an image), it's clearly visible ...


2

The first is definitely more usable. Type-ahead hinting is well-known and easy to use. I would recommend doing something like what Facebook has for their Work Info section of edit profile: Start typing, and selections come up. Once you click a selection, it "locks" in by changing color and adding an [X] to the right side of the box. It indicates that ...


2

I think it depends on how familiar the users are with the data collection. fcbkcomplete is a neat and efficient way to select data from an existing data collection if the user has a rather clear idea of what s/he is looking for and thus is able to type (the beginning of) a query that can be recognized by the system. If, on the other hand, the user is ...


2

Not showing the combobox when there are no items is likely to confuse your customers. If your customers come to expect it to be there, you should always have it there - even if there are no options to select. You could always add an option called "No valid option" or something along those lines. If you do this then when there is one option the answer is ...


2

The most important thing is that the years are sorted and the sorting is consistent through your design. I think that the direction of the sorting should depend on which years are more frequently used - the older years or the newer ones. E.g. For a trip planning tool, the current year should be first and the next year should follow. For the date of ...


2

Yes, it should remain in the list. Imagining myself as the user for a moment, when I type something in a combo-box, it helps me select an item from the list below. How will I know that I've typed something that's actually found in the list if as soon as I finish typing it the item no longer appears in the list? Instead, give the me visual feedback by ...



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