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Talk:Mobile Design Pattern: Auto Complete

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21 Sep
2009
Article Review by Larry101 (20090921)

This article discusses auto-complete, a useful design solution for situations where users must enter text information. Auto-complete can improve efficiency in such tasks by looking at what the user has already typed and trying to infer the rest of the string they wish to enter. These options can then be presented to the user, rather than him/her having to complete entering the full text. Because text entry is fairly difficult given the small, unergonimic keypads and touch-screen input provided by mobile devices, the use of auto-complete can be very useful.

The article also includes useful advice for improving the usability of auto-complete implementations. It is important that auto-complete implementations are as accurate and non-intrusive as possible. It should be just as easy to ignore the options provided as to select one of them. Auto-complete is widely used in mobile browser applications, because the punctuation and URLs in web addresses often makes it awkward and time-consuming for users to enter web addresses on their mobile device. Implementing auto-complete in mobile applications will usually mean that the programmer will have to create custom UI components to implement this functionality. But in cases where text entry is lengthy and repetitive or long lists of options can be filtered, the efficiency gains for the user should be well worth it. A well-written article about a design pattern which is probably even more useful on mobile devices than it is in the desktop environment.

 

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