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I've got a specialized text validation application where the user can either type, copy/paste the text or load file in - then hit Validate for the screen to transition to the results area. Here's a demo. If you click on an error, a little window opens up at the bottom which shows you the part of the example where the error is.

In user testing, the fact that focus is being taken away from the content being validated to the results page was shown to be a problem: they'd like the focus to stay on the text and the errors to be just complementary to it, in order to have a fast validate-edit-validate feedback loop.

What's the best way to redesign the experience here to keep the focus on the text?

My initial thoughts are to split the window halfway so the errors are shown from the bottom, and the text itself never goes anywhere. Is there a better approach?

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  • Your "initial thoughts" sounds good to me. That is pretty much what code editors do to show error information while still being able to review the relevant code.
    – musefan
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 15:59

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You can validate as you type or whenever the content changes. And just show the validation result to the side or below. This way, the user won't have to switch between typing and clicking a button.

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  • The validation process is very expensive, unfortunately and takes 1-5s to do. Commented May 26, 2021 at 6:41
  • Oh I didn't see your gif, if it's simple or client-side validation you can do it as you type. If it's expensive validation, what if you do it as a background process and highlight or underline errors like you might see in a Word processor or coding IDE. Commented May 29, 2021 at 21:01

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