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Thread: Aliases

  1. #1
    Steve Prescott Guest

    Aliases

    Hi,

    I am developing a VB database front end which incorporates aliases. For
    example, A Person can have more than one Phone. The app requires the user to
    give each Phone an alias. So Phone1 can be named 'Home', Phone2 'Work', etc.
    The user is presented with a menu of standard aliases for each object which
    support aliases or he can create a new one. Each alias is unique, as in this
    case, to the Person/Phone relaltionship so that within a family, a Father's
    work phone could be aliased 'Work' in the Father's profile, but 'Dad's Work'
    in the Daughter's profile.

    Here's the problem: This scheme really works good when you are accessing the
    information. Its very convenient that way. But I am concerned about the
    data-input part. First of all, does anyone have any suggestions as to how to
    incorporate this feature into a reasonably user-friendly data-entry form. I
    am planning to include an 'explorer' style interface with drag-and-drop
    functionality. When the user drags an object that supports aliases into a
    parent object, he will have to deal with a little pop-up form asking for an
    alias. Does this sound good? Secondly, does this scheme push the boundaries
    as far as asking too much from the data-entry user?

    Thanks for any ideas.

    Steve Prescott



  2. #2
    Thomas Eyde Guest

    Re: Aliases

    Comments inline,
    /Thomas

    "Steve Prescott" <smprescott@uswest.net> wrote in message
    news:3aec3ef0$1@news.devx.com...
    > A Person can have more than one Phone. The app requires the user to
    > give each Phone an alias. So Phone1 can be named 'Home', Phone2 'Work',

    etc.
    > The user is presented with a menu of standard aliases for each object

    which
    > support aliases or he can create a new one.


    Predefined aliases is a good idea, but why not present them as a grid to
    fill out?


    I think the user should be able to type any number of phone numbers and name
    them whatever they want, including nothing. That means aliases are no longer
    unique in the data storage.

    > When the user drags an object that supports aliases into a
    > parent object, he will have to deal with a little pop-up form asking for

    an
    > alias. Does this sound good?


    No! Pop ups are almost never good. They disturb the work flow and are slow
    to deal with, even when they try to provide value to the application. From
    the functional view point, pop ups are OK, but it's not user friendly.

    > Secondly, does this scheme push the boundaries
    > as far as asking too much from the data-entry user?


    I did answer that, didn't I?




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