This question is different from the one asked here: Language of language names in the language selector?.

I'm designing a map that enables a potential employer to find a candidate based on the intersection of three categories (skills, interests, and languages). I have built the interface for skills and interests, but I'm having a hard time conceptualizing how languages should be displayed.

Here's the current display: enter image description here

Which can be found here: http://dreaminginswahili.com/admin/mapv4.html.

The issue is that each candidate may speak many different languages-- ones that may be obscure. Using the current interface would require potentially hundreds of checkboxes, which is unruly. What's a best practice for enumerating languages to check through?


4 Answers 4


I think this could be solution.

First entering the tab, when no language is selected, you display select languages dialog to let user choose ones. Display selected languages more distinct to catch an eye.

After the dialog is closed you could display selected set along with delete and add language controls. Clicking on Add language link opens the dialog again.

enter image description here

The advantage is you display only small set of languages, but user has control to select all possible languages from the huge list. So, everytime you display only needed information.

  • I like this. You've rescued me yet again! If you'll notice, I implemented your earlier suggestions as well. Jul 17, 2013 at 20:45
  • Also, do you know of a jQuery plugin that will automatically produce the running head of text based on checkbox input? Jul 17, 2013 at 20:48
  • Glad to help you ). What is the running head of text? Jul 17, 2013 at 20:50
  • The part where you say "all languages are duplicated here"-- is there an existing interface that permits that? Jul 17, 2013 at 20:54
  • It's easy on jQuery, just select all the checked checkboxes and loop them (each function) getting out their text. Do it every time any checkbox is clicked. So you every time fully replace the string, which contains choosen langs. Jul 17, 2013 at 20:59

I think you can use autocomplete with jquery UI. With just an text box you can solve your problem and save a lot of space.

A simple example (try to digit your language):

Autocomplete example

  • How will an auto complete box solve the problem? He needs to 'display' the languages, the autocomplete box basically ends up hiding all the options and relies on the user remembering all the options.
    – rk.
    Jul 18, 2013 at 1:40
  • All languages are stored in a list. Autocomplete shows only the language you need. I Think is a smart solution to save space.
    – WalterV
    Jul 18, 2013 at 10:56

Or perhaps you can have one that will filter the commonly selected list of language from the geolocation and allow user to select from the sorted list.

Add on top of Alexey Kolchenko suggestion.

enter image description here

  • This is actually quite intelligent, although much more code intensive. Jul 18, 2013 at 13:33

You could use a multi-select control that supports searching, something like Select2 though it's not consistent with the other sections. (And you'd also presumably have to internationalize/localize it.)

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