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Re: State Abbreviations in Dropdown - Permitted?


From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Dec 3, 2005 2:20PM

Rimantas Liubertas wrote:

> Seth Godin rises interesting point in his "Big Red Fez" book, namely,
> if someone is filling a form, he keeps both hands on the keyboard, and
> drop downs are usually operated with mouse, so selecting item from drop
> down requires additional action.

ALT + cursor down to open up the menu, first letter to get to the right
place within the list of options, and a few cursor up/down movements to
find the right one.

> Why not just ask the person to type NY and US?
> Because the engineers love using pull-down menus!

Possibly a simplistic view. Sure, for US 2 letter state abbreviations
it's perhaps not an issue, but when you have more than a handful of
options that could be typed in any number of ways (not just uppercase,
lowercase etc which can be handled fairly easily, but things where some
users may put two words in a different order, etc) you end up having to
implement something akin to a natural language parser, which can end up
being a non-trivial programming task.

> (sometimes it is just difficult to get to the right
> dropdown using keyboard, because of illogical tabbing order).

That's a completely separate issue and not pertinent to this discussion,

Patrick H. Lauke