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Assume a scenario that user need to do some modification to a big data form, while the requirement is that if they have changed some records, they need to add remarks that what have changed,etc.

One solution is to set the remarks part layout beside the main data area, say, right side or below.

As the main data are presented in a table, and user is able to select one record row, do the changes, and add remarks directly.While it is directly operation and user can do the changes and add remarks at the same time. The disadvantage point is that user may not aware of the table row changes also connected to the outside part, and the other way is user may not know if they have changed or not.

The other solution is to give a pop up window to add the remarks, while there is a clear save button to confirm the remarks action, but there is also 2 step more than the first solution, open and close. The other question is the remarks is not easy to view as it need a extra action.

So my question is, for this kind of modification data task, is there some better way to let user can easily add the remarks and clear know what they have done?

  • In the table row you can have additional column to show remarks, and column that got modified can be highlighted. – Chetan Jan 7 '15 at 4:28
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I worked on an internal project with similar requirements a few weeks ago and we used a variation of your second solution.

In our case the user needed to give some remarks for a change in a cell. He could do so by a modal window, which appeared once he modified the cell data, and hit return or 'save' button (on the last column). In the modal he could fill out an input field and write down some remarks. Also, another user could easily find the modified cells: highlighted with a greyed-out pencil icon.

Probably this is a 2-step process, but it can be understood better than the first solution.

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  • It sounds reasonable, thanks. However, when the tasks are massive and users need do many times for operation, 2 steps may become extra effort and burden to them, how to balance it? – OneSeven Jun 10 '15 at 1:32
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Some products I run into have a nice modal window approach to adding remarks to changes:

TortoiseGit: The commit message window appears when committing (editing -> saving) your work. This allows you to enter your comment and complete the action. Feedback is immediately available depending on your workflow.

TortoiseGit Example

JIRA: A issue tracking system. When resolving an issue, a modal window appears allowing you to add a (potentially required) comment about your fix. Feedback appears immediately on screen showing what you've added.

JIRA Example

In both these examples, adding a comment/remark is very simple and integrated into normal workflow for the product. In addition, its very important to display feedback to the user, both to show that the comment/remark was saved, but also their work/changes. Beyond that, make sure the remarks view is clearly part of the current operation with textual headers or visual cues.

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