I'm working on a feature that would enable people to apply the same "response" / "reason" to multiple items that they select from a list and looking for some help!
The basic idea is this:
During the course of a shift at a manufacturing plant, there are a number of events that can occur for a production line worker. A requirement is for them to provide a reason and comment for each of these events. The trouble is, that these events can queue up during the course of shift so they can't respond to them in real time (they are fixing the problems before providing an explanation for them).
So, let's say that 4 hours pass and there have been 17 events and so things have quieted down and now they go in to complete the required explanation. I'm displaying all 17 items that require input and let's say that 10 of the items all share the same cause (VERY common).What I'm doing now is displaying them in a table with a check box and letting them select the ones to edit and there is a button underneath the table labeled "Edit Selected Items". Yuck.
1.) There is nothing guiding someone at this point to first select the items and that they have the opportunity to clear several items at once... okay, this can be taught and/or people will learn it after a few days of doing this... but still, I don't like it.
2.) This is done on paper today and one guiding principle we have is that the online form can't take longer than the paper... I have a feeling that all the selecting and moving between pages is going to take people quite a bit of time and eventually frustrate them.
3.) We do have a touch screen interface, so we can explore something other than the standard Web interface of clicking with a mouse... I can admit that I'm just a little out of my element on this one, having never designed an app for a touch screen... would people understand drag & drop (I'm concerned with that from an affordance perspective, do you put a big label over the list... "Drag this to a reason"?)
So, to recap - I'm looking for a good UI to enable people to select multiple items and apply the same response to all the items they've selected.