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Fields

Input Fields
For most Forms, all Fields should be in a vertical column down the left side of the screen. Create a table with the required number of rows and 2 columns. Do not worry too much about the number of rows, since it is easy to add or delete them. Remove the vertical borders.

Normal data Fields should be in a Table with the label in the first column and the Field in the second column. Make the text labels bold, but leave the data fields normal.

Longer Fields (such as Comments) should be placed in a row with merged cells. You may have to fix the cell borders after merging cells. Enter the label on the first line. Place the Field on the second line. Put any help text between them (see below.) Leave a blank line after the Field.

Most long fields belong after all the short fields.

It is tempting to use Tabbed Tables and Sections to hide data. These elements always indicate a poor interface. Think about how much time you spend clicking between tabs in the properties box, or between tabs on a Server or Person document in the Domino Directory. It is much easier to scroll vertically than have to search for information that is hidden, especially if there are clues about where you are in the document that are visible while scrolling quickly. Read about background colors below.

If you feel the need to put anything into a Section, then move it lower on the Form. Anything that needs to be hidden to allow other data to be closer to the top should be after the other data.

Use section titles to separate the data on longer Forms. Make the section titles larger (14 pitch) and bold, and leave 2 blank lines before each title. The consumer should be able to notice them while scrolling quickly.

If there are many rows in your table, you may want to use a light background on alternating rows. If so, color the first, third, fifth ... rows. For really long Forms, use different colors for each section to provide additional visual clues to the consumers when they are scrolling quickly. In order, use the lightest yellow, green, blue, pink. These colors contrast nicely. (Gray makes the text difficult to read.) Repeat the colors rather than using colors that make the text less readable.

Hide all codes. Notes has great abilities in creating dialog lists, radio buttons, and checkboxes. Use them.

Fields to show static data
Static data may be shown on the right side of the screen, near where it is useful. This includes all Computed for display Fields, and Computed Fields. If it is not useful, then do not display it. Always check that the consumer would actually use the information before displaying it.

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