Eclipse Scout at ECE 2011 – The Smartfield Talk

The Eclipse Scout team is looking forward to Ludwigsburg next week and are in the middle of preparing our talks and material to bring.

Eclipse Scout in Ludwigsburg

In our first talk we will hightlight our favorite GUI element, the “Smartfield” even in the light of some bad comments behind the scenes regarding the naming of this field we quite like it. Why? Because it allows to build user interfaces with an excellent usability that look good at the same time.

Bad Dropdown Lists

We all know various implementations of drop-down lists, combo-boxes, etc. They all work well if the user has to pick an element out of a handful of choices. If we need to pick a value out of hundrets or thousands of elements, the results often fail to please.

In our opinion all examples above (MS Outlook, Firefox) will not make users happy

  • Additional Dialogs to pick a value for a specific purpose should not involve an additional dialog on top
  • Forcing the user to know/remember the initial letters of the entry creates unnecessary pain
  • Painting the list as long as possible doesn’t solve the problem

Better Solutions

“Search as you type”, the use of wildcards in the input field, and updating suggestions dynamically goes a long way toward improving the usability of the software. Examples below are Eclipse IDE, Google, Lotus Notes 8.x (using LN7.x puts you into the bad example section).

The Scout Smartfield

In the domain of Scout applications the Smartfield is always our first choice. It features:

  • Search as you type
  • Wildcard support
  • Dynamic update of hit list
  • Supports both flat list input as well as hierachical lists
  • No need for an additional dialog / result table element just to select a value

If would like to learn more and happen to attend the ECE come to our talk , or meet us at our Booth #4 have a chat and get your Scout Sheep …

Session Type: Standard [25 minutes]

Track: Building Industry Solutions

Experience level:Intermediate

Time slot: Wednesday 2 November 17:00 – 17:30

Presenter: Remo Arpagaus

Room: Schubartsaal