Table data entry, dialog win, and widget focus;"

13 Jan 2004 - 6:48pm
10 years ago
1 reply
469 reads
cfmdesigns
2004

Sandeep Jain <sandeepblues at yahoo.com> writes:

>Basically, suppose that you have a dialog box, with a
>spreadsheet equivalent as one of the widgets in the
>dialog box. The user will use Tab and Enter to
>navigate from one cell to another, and row to another,
>respectively. So, now, how to I say "OK" via
>keyboard?Also, how can I tab "out" of the spreadsheet
>to say a combo-box in the same dialog box.

I would start by questioning the basic assumption, that users will
press Enter to go to the next row of the table. Doesn't that simply
replicate old fashioned typewriter methods, where there is no concept
of what comes "after" the end of the row (after the right edge of the
page). HTML editing programs like Dreamwaever and DTP programs like
FrameMaker treat what comes after the last cell in a row as the first
cell in the next row. Maybe I'm thinking of this widget in a
different way than you are, though; in particular, if the "width" of
the widget is not fixed, such that more tabs adds more columns.

Some programs enable carriage returns inside multi-line textboxes
with a key-combo like shift-Enter, which reserves Enter for dialog
exit. Others use Enter to do a <CR> when in such a widget, and to do
dialog exit when outside. (Since you are already using tab
differently in the same different contexts, this isn't going to be
that big of a stretch.)

I'm inclined top say that the overloading of tab and enter with
multiple meanings is a bad thing. You might consider alternate
navigation and text entry methods for the widget (when then have to
be taught and not already in use), or if you want to use some kind of
combo keys for dialog-level Tab and Enter (ctrl-Tab to tab out of the
widget), maybe an in-dialog help region to cue users.
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew jdrew at adobe.com
Version Cue QE (206) 675-7912

Comments

14 Jan 2004 - 2:39pm
sandeepblues
2003

It's about being consistent with user expectations.
Spreadsheet programs use Enter to go to the next line.
Most word processors use Enter to go to the next line.

Any user interacting with a spreadsheet widget inside
a dialog box will get a bad surprise if the dialog box
closes when they were trying to go to the next line.

Your idea of Ctrl+Tab is good, though no-one will know
about it.

Sandeep

--- Jim Drew <jdrew at adobe.com> wrote:
> Sandeep Jain <sandeepblues at yahoo.com> writes:
>
> >Basically, suppose that you have a dialog box, with
> a
> >spreadsheet equivalent as one of the widgets in the
> >dialog box. The user will use Tab and Enter to
> >navigate from one cell to another, and row to
> another,
> >respectively. So, now, how to I say "OK" via
> >keyboard?Also, how can I tab "out" of the
> spreadsheet
> >to say a combo-box in the same dialog box.
>
>
> I would start by questioning the basic assumption,
> that users will
> press Enter to go to the next row of the table.
> Doesn't that simply
> replicate old fashioned typewriter methods, where
> there is no concept
> of what comes "after" the end of the row (after the
> right edge of the
> page). HTML editing programs like Dreamwaever and
> DTP programs like
> FrameMaker treat what comes after the last cell in a
> row as the first
> cell in the next row. Maybe I'm thinking of this
> widget in a
> different way than you are, though; in particular,
> if the "width" of
> the widget is not fixed, such that more tabs adds
> more columns.
>
> Some programs enable carriage returns inside
> multi-line textboxes
> with a key-combo like shift-Enter, which reserves
> Enter for dialog
> exit. Others use Enter to do a <CR> when in such a
> widget, and to do
> dialog exit when outside. (Since you are already
> using tab
> differently in the same different contexts, this
> isn't going to be
> that big of a stretch.)
>
> I'm inclined top say that the overloading of tab and
> enter with
> multiple meanings is a bad thing. You might
> consider alternate
> navigation and text entry methods for the widget
> (when then have to
> be taught and not already in use), or if you want to
> use some kind of
> combo keys for dialog-level Tab and Enter (ctrl-Tab
> to tab out of the
> widget), maybe an in-dialog help region to cue
> users.
> --
>
> ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
> Jim Drew jdrew at adobe.com
> Version Cue QE (206) 675-7912
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