Genii Weblog

Not your parent's form design

Tue 6 Mar 2007, 02:49 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
I had a good time at EntwicklerCamp last week, going beyond the tricks I showed in SpeedGeeking at Lotusphere.  Here are a few of the form design techniques you could be using in Notes 6/6.5/7 (or in Notes 8 beta when it comes out).  For more, or to try these out, see the EntwicklerCamp 2007 - Layers in Notes and Web page for my presentation and database.

Checkboxes in your section title (save space and control what is shown when you open section)

Checkboxes in section title bar

Checkboxes in open section

Computed text after the tabs of a tabbed table

Computed text after tabbed table tabs

Active content after tabbed table tabs

Checkbox after tabbed table tabs

Dynamic computed tab labels

Dynamic computed tab labels

Copyright 2007 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

563.1. Nathan T. Freeman
(03/07/2007 03:01 AM)


I'm particularly fond of the first example. Although checkboxes might not be the best presentation technique, given that they're intended as an input/control method as well as an information reveal method. So what happens if I want to checkoff one of the boxes? I suppose you COULD make some stuff happen that was -- I just need to think about how that would work.

All first 3 techniques could benefit by right-aligning the layered control and putting in a right border. That would allow for more fluid rendering.

563.2. Ben Langhinrichs
(03/07/2007 04:16 AM)

Nathan - Actually, one of my favorites I didn't show, which was a series of action buttons in the title bar which related to the contents of the section. That works well.

In the sample db I pointed to, the checkboxes refresh the hide formulas in the section, so they literally control the content of the section. Take a look. As I've said before, I just come up with these techniques, it is up to people like you to make a nice UI around them!

563.3. Charles Robinson
(03/07/2007 08:35 AM)

Imagine my surprise when I was working with layers for the first time ever and this showed up in my RSS feeds. :-)

My favorite is the dynamic tab headers. That's absolutely brilliant and, now that I see it, so incredibly simple.

563.4. Ben Langhinrichs
(03/07/2007 08:45 AM)

Charles - Be careful with the dynamic tab labels. While they do work, you would need to go one more step to make them truly useful. The problem is that right now, if you click on the layer, the tab doesn't change, which is why in my sample I made sure to leave a Name: on the tab itself. The other way to handle this would be to make the table changed to programmatic from tabbed, but with the property set to show the tabs anyway. Then, the computed text on the layer could be changed to a computed for display field and a hotspot could be put on it which would switch the tab. I just didn't have time to do all that before I showed this in Germany, but it would be effective, afaik.

Let me know how it works out for you.

563.5. Nathan T. Freeman
(03/07/2007 11:41 AM)

So Ben, does the fact that I'm not in your blog roll mean you don't read me? ;-)

563.6. Ben Langhinrichs
(03/07/2007 01:40 PM)

Nathan - Of course not. It means I didn't read your blog six months ago, as I only update my blogroll about every six months. When I next get to it, I'll be sure to add you (unless I don't read you again by then).