Using proximity based classification and presentation of selection options in forms
Publication Date: 2010-May-18
The IP.com Prior Art Database
When designing forms, and especially enterprise forms, there is an occasional need to specify relationships between fields. This relationship may cause in a change in one field as a result of a change in another field. Designing these relationships may be a difficult task which can be simplified by providing for each field a fast access to a set of fields which answer a predefined rule - namely a proximity based rule.
Enterprise forms can be built of hundreds or even thousands of fields. Still, regardless of the number of fields in a form, a commonly needed feature in form design is to allow field configuration based on another field. Such configurations include rules for determining when a field is editable / visible, binding web service invocation in response to a change in a field's value etc. A user interface to enable such a configuration is commonly one of the following:
- A drop down menu
- A selection list (possibly with auto complete)
- Search based list
In addition to configuring forms, often similar usage scenarios exists during the end user interaction with the form. In particular this exists when users are trying to construct reports on forms and perform searches on forms.
These user interaction techniques have scalability issues from a user experience perspective. That is to say that they become unmanageable and hard to use as the number of fields increases.
We have devised a method to handle this problem by defining several metrics to allow the software to organize the fields in the appropriate user interaction technique and display this information to the form designer / user on demand. The set of metrics is based on fields' proximity, which is defined as:
To the left / right / above / below / diagonally across from the field being
On the same page of a multi-page form
By using these metrics, it is possible to provide the designer / user an alternate li...