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I am developing a mobile application in which the user selects the fields that s/he wants to enter information into. At the moment, I have two screens - one for selecting the fields and other for entering the information.

My goal is to choose a design that is very intuitive and minimizes the number of screens/views that the user has to visit. With that in mind, please suggest a way so that I can allow the user to accomplish selection of fields and data entry on just one screen.

closed as not a real question by dhmstark, JohnGB, ChrisF, Jimmy Breck-McKye, Ben Brocka Dec 19 '12 at 15:11

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The problem with two screens is that if user will change his mind he will have to go back to select/unselect the items. It's better to place everything on the one single screen and allow user to input values instantly. For example, you may try to use a well-known pattern (used in address books, etc) of choosing a type of a field and entering value inplace:

inplace

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Assuming that the user directly choose which fields to enter (the application doesn't need to make any decisions about what needs to be filled), I suggest simply allowing the user to leave fields they decide not to enter blank.

  • thanks for your response. I had considered this approach, but the problem is if s/he wants to modify a field, the user has to scroll through the entire table to find the fields that have info. – Rutvij Kotecha Dec 13 '12 at 6:54
  • Unfortunately, I don't think that with one screen it's possible to condense the table any further. Since being able select a field to modify requires displaying the field at least somewhere, fitting everything in one screen will require listing all modifiable fields in that screen. – fernozzle Dec 13 '12 at 6:58
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Consider adding the text "optional" in a distinguishing color just to the left or above each field's title.

If a user sees 8 fields with 6 of them clearly optional upon a quick glance of the page, that won't feel like a page with 8 fields.

Still, work VERY hard to trim down to the fewest fields needed in the first place.

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Another route is to have just the few basic fields and add an "advanced" button which leads to a page with more fields.

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