I am working on a tablet app that has a database of appointments. The client wants the following to happen when the user is creating a new appointment:

  1. User types a last name into Customer Last Name field
  2. User tabs to next field
  3. At this point, if the last name entered corresponds to a customer already in the system, the user will get a popup asking if the user would like to pre-populate the rest of the form with the customer's data.

Is this good UX? Is there a better way to search the system? Maybe there should be a screen before it that just asks for the user to search with the last name?

3 Answers 3

  • 1 to Derek

Also you can design the same in a quite attractive way like this:

enter image description here


You could do it like this:

  1. User starts typing name ie (Alys )
  2. Auto fill pops up underneath and is narrowed down as more letters are entered.
  3. User can click on one of the boxes if it's correct who they're searching for.
  4. When clicked the form populated all information associated.

similar to the old Google search where you could say. something like "why is my" and Google would guess funny things underneath based on popular searches.

  • The term for this is "auto suggest" or a "typeahead".
    – nightning
    Mar 18, 2014 at 19:50

Something basic is missing from the question, which is the assumption that only one result will come up when the user types the word. If there is only one possible result, then your question as it is applies and is a good option, specially if the form is long.

But if there are more than one possible results, then you should add an intermediate step asking the user about whom, exactly, he want the info to be used. Once the user select the right person, then you can use that information.

In the scenario where you have more than one option, don't do the process in two steps, first asking about the right person and then if the info should be used, or viceversa. Use only one step with a wording like "if you want to use the autocomplete feature, select the person whose information you want to use, other wise, click/tap cancel".

This is a reasonably good option, and is something used on other systems/apps, so you can use it without worrying at all. Just remember to set it correctly, contemplate options, use the right wording and consider that the user may answer no and type the info himself.

Personally, I prefer the one with one more step, giving the chance to the user to look for somebody on the database or go straight to the form. I think it's always more clear an less prone to misunderstandings.

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