User Story:

  • The user can create a schoolclass 7a
  • The user can create a pupil for a schoolclass 7a
  • The user can change the shown pupils for the current selected schoolclass 7a


Should I change all 3 schoolclass-dropsdowns when any of them is changed and synchronize the current selected schoolclass? Or should every schoolclass dropdown act independently from each other?

What are the pro and contra for each decision for you?

To take the question even further. Should I avoid those 3 dropdowns at all and have only ONE schoolclass dropdown. But then I would have to change the whole layout...

The application UI is aimed for a Desktop browser but should also work well for a minimum 10" tablet browser.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups


A schoolclass dropdown is a dropdown filled with schoolclasses like 7a or 3b.


If I read your question correctly, you're concerned about synchronizing the class select boxes that show up in the class and pupil create modules and the view filter. IMHO, you're question stems from a larger problem.

You have chosen to expose the properties of multiple actions on the page at one time. Before trying any solutions to the specific issue, ask yourself:

Do the users really need to see all of those choices all the time?

If this answer to that question is yes

On the surface, it seems the class value in the create actions should be kept in sync with the view. That keeps the teacher in the context they are working on: "I'm looking at 7a and I need to create things for 7a." If they choose to step out of that context for a moment, they can change an individual value.

Once a class value has been changed for creation, you have to rely on user feedback and testing to find out if the changed value should remain unsync'd for multiple adds or revert to the current view's value. It's hard to imagine that creating for another class should also change the view, but your users may tell you otherwise.

If the answer to that question is no

Without knowing your users, there appears to be a lot of opportunity for reduction. You don't want to slow users down, but your they might find a more focused view easier to learn and master.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

In this revision, when an action is taken (eg, add student) the relevant properties pop in a modal. When a row is selected, actions are populated in an overlay at the bottom of the table (or fixed to the bottom of the currently visible rows, if your table can extend below the viewport).

The simplified UI I've outlined could work well for all users, but power users are often core to "back office" applications. For those highly engaged users, it's important to back actions with key sequences so they can move effortlessly through a given workflow.

  • Happy new year to you! You recognized the problem and the problem beyond I did not want to deal with as it causes more headache ;-) While I tried to give all power to the user at one time, you give them steps - a certain/reduced view on the things - and my wife aint a power user and most teachers arent. I must say I like the concept you started. I will return here with the new mockups next days :-) See you then and thanks!
    – Pascal
    Jan 1 '16 at 12:55
  • Actually you answered the question and its a solution for me. The new mockups are a new question :-)
    – Pascal
    Jan 1 '16 at 13:03
  • I guess with key sequences you mean:"Teacher creates a student in a modal and the add button does not close the dialog but a new student can be entered directly".
    – Pascal
    Jan 1 '16 at 13:27
  • Now I remember again why I wanted to avoid dialogs. Imagine a delete action in a dialog opening another "do you really want to delete X"-dialog. But thats another topic. After reading about modals: developer.appway.com/screen/ShowSingleRecipe/selectedRecipeId/…
    – Pascal
    Jan 1 '16 at 15:49
  • One way to solve the dialog to dialog problem is to just support undo for destructive actions. Jan 2 '16 at 7:49
  1. I don't know what a 'schoolclass dropdown' is. Could you show it or add an arrow pointing to it?

(You mention you have "three" of them. Pls show all three! :) )

  1. "Should I change all 3 schoolclass-dropsdowns when any of them is changed and synchronize the current selected schoolclass?" Yes, of course - why wouldn't you? Always update everything, reactively and instantly, when anything changes. Even if something is "open" when some other operation happens (perhaps signaled from the cloud, say, by PubNub or whatever), change it in real time.
  • See my UPDATE. And furthermore all 3 schoolclass dropdowns are on the UI mockup I attached :-)
    – Pascal
    Dec 31 '15 at 16:21

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