In this application there are several screens that guide a user through filling out criteria meant to complete specific queries. In order to facilitate the selection of multiple items we have created a custom listbox type of control that I would like to add an ignore type toggle to.
This custom control uses progressive disclosure to allow searching through and selecting items that are then shown in a read only fashion when the progressive disclosure expander button is not engaged. To picture this control it looks like a simple listbox but instead of having just a label at the top it has an additional down arrow button that is in the upper right corner so that it sits above the listbox but opposite of the associated label.
A few questions:
- Should I try to create some type of icon inside of the control layout itself or should I try instead to make the ignore option separate from the control but just position it near the grid control in some fashion?
- If I'm to make an icon for a toggle button what should the icon depict? I'm leaning towards a power symbol as used on common electronics.
- Should I disable the associated listbox so that it cannot be edited? I'm leaning towards yes although there is some compelling stuff in the Windows UXGuide which suggests not disabling some subordinate controls.
- I've been avoiding the idea of collapsing the listbox when that part of the query criteria is toggled to be ignored mainly because it would complicate the layout of forms that have several similar collapsible controls but would this be a preferred design? Are there ways to do this without making it seem awkward?
Other facts: Sometimes there are 3 or even 4 of these types of controls on a single form so it would be best if the toggle appears naturally associated with the intended list control and does not add too much noise or weight to the existing controls.
I'm open to any ideas or suggestions you may have, and I'll try to add a mock-up of the control if I get a chance.