Designing software for the web is an interesting exercise. Ways of displaying data or allowing users to enter data that are easy when you install software are sometimes difficult when you are going through a web browser. It is especially difficult when the software needs to run on different browsers, because each of the browsers implements the standards in a different way. It is sort of like driving different cars. All cars have windshield wipers controls, and often the controls are in a similar place, but some cars are…well…unique. Older browsers, like older cars, don’t adhere to new standards and don’t have all the bells and whistles, but the software needs to be able to run on them.
Luckily, the web continues to evolve, people continue to upgrade their browsers and the tool sets available for web developers allow us to get closer to the things you can do in a downloaded applications. This week’s highlighted feature is a new type-ahead control for learning objectives. It allows you to begin typing to find your results or pick from a list. Multiple items can be selected without having to wade through a long list or have a ton of different data entry boxes. This control will eliminate errors that users get when an item they select from a list doesn’t match the back end database because they pressed the space bar or other key before clicking or pressing enter.
You can see this feature and others at the User Group Feature Demonstrations this week.