by anthony on 09/22/10 at 12:48 pm
People that live in the United States have a small convenience that people in other countries don’t have. Their country is the default option in country dropdown boxes in forms. This means they don’t have to spend their time and energy scrolling through a long list of over 100 country names looking for their country.
Those that don’t live in the United States, however, may find themselves facing this user interface nightmare the next time they have to select their country on a form. The good news is that there is a better way to select countries by using a different type of user interface control.
The autocomplete textbox is a control that adapts to user input. Instead of displaying an overwhelming list of countries in adropdown box that takes up the entire screen, an autocomplete textbox suggests a small collated subset of countries that matches the user’s input.
The benefit of this is that users don’t have to scroll through a giant list of country names in alphabetical order. As the user types in their country name, the autocomplete textbox will automatically narrow the giant list of countries down to a fraction. When users see fewer countries, they’re able to select their country faster.
An autocomplete textbox is an efficient and effective replacement for the dropdown box. When users have to scroll through over 100 countries in a dropdown box, an autocomplete textbox is the solution that will give your users a better form experience.
It doesn’t matter what country they live in, all users want to get through forms faster and easier. Designers should start implementing autocomplete textboxes in place of select menus on their forms.
Make It Happen
- jQuery Plugin: Autocomplete
- jQuery Plugin: Auto Complete
- jQuery Autocomplete
- Ajax Autocomplete for jQuery
- jQuery Tutorial – Creating an Autocomplete Input Textbox