I have a tree of items in a left nav and a main content pane to the right. Users should be able to select an item from the tree and populate fields on the right with complicated info (long paths, cryptic ids, etc..) from that item. Info that isn't often remembered.
A simplified example:
I've considered just automatically populating the fields immediately when the user clicks the contact, but that would overwrite anything currently in the fields. A warning seems annoying.
I also considered adding buttons to all fields that are "populatable" from the data (not all are). These buttons would show up when a contact is selected. The user would then click that button to populate the field explicitly.
Customer is asking for "double click" of a contact or just immediate populate on each selection. I think magic things happening on clicks can confuse the user so an explicit population is best. Thoughts? How can I do this in a natural way with out needing a bunch of verbose help text? Should I use click and drag and change the cursor when hovering over a contact? Both? Are buttons on each field confusing?