One of the UI components I need in every application is a means of letting the user enter criteria. Usually this is part of a dialogbox for exporting or (Excel) reporting data.
I just wanted to share some screenshots (and background) to give you some ideas, and to collect feedback for improvements.

Here's one I use most often (or variations of it):
Image:Notes Query User Interfaces
The result of the user's selection is a computed field with a searchstring to be used for either an FTSearch and/or a regular Search. The dialogbox itself is entirely formula driven, no LotusScript necessary.
The above would result in the following FT-searchstring:

  • ([Sector]="Retail" OR [Sector]="Chemical" OR [Sector]="Medical")
    AND ([InvoiceType]="Invoice")
    AND ([DateInv]>=1/1/2008 AND [DateInv]<=31/12/2008)
    AND ([Form]="Invoice")
More interesting is the fact that the 2 (sometime more) dropdowns are 'fed' by one field (which could be a user/admin parameter). In this case its multi-value content is:
  • -
    Account Mgr.|Resp1/L/AccountMgr
    Invoice Status|InvoiceStatus/L/InvoiceStatus
The dash at the top allows the user to 'skip' a criteria, and is the default.
The syntax is:
UserfriendlyFieldname | FieldOnForm / Listtype / InfoForListtype
Listtype defines where the selection list below the drowdown gets its data from:
  • L: Lookup. The last parameter serves as the lookupkeyword.
  • C: Column. Here it's the name of the view from which to fetch the first column.
  • K: Keywords. Here the last param is a hardcoded list separated by §,
    each with a UserfriendlyName>InternalSynonym pair.

The advantage if this approach is that I can very easily reuse these kind of dialogboxes, and the agent that goes with it.
A disadvantage is the 'limited' number of criteria you can decently put on a dialogbox. I never went over 5.

I recently experimented with another UI for a customer.
It's more complex (for user and developer), but they preferred its flexibility:
Image:Notes Query User Interfaces
Using a more elaborate criteria field (with additional Listtypes: Numeric, Edit text, Date), the interface changes accordingly:
Image:Notes Query User Interfaces
Notice the availability of a 'Free FT Search' as one of the possible criteria.
Clicking one of the applied criteria on the right, updates both selections to the left, so the user can change his/her mind and update the criterium.

Don't be shy, and show me your solution(s) for selection criteria !

Category:  Lotus  Notes  Domino  | TechnoratiTechnorati: , ,