Chapter 6. User-entered data


This chapter covers

  • The principles behind good form design
  • Alternatives to typed entry
  • Optimizing form entry
  • Handling validation and reporting errors

In this chapter, we look deeper at some of the specifics of capturing data from the people using the app. Few apps are simple enough that the only input they need is from the intent to launch the app and basic touch events. The usefulness of such apps is dwindling. Your apps will need to do more than this, as the level of sophistication demanded by consumers continues to grow.

Capturing complex information of differing types takes more than just putting controls onscreen. A great experience requires you to execute the basics perfectly and then add sophisticated refinement. Just doing the basics isn’t enough to be remarkable. This means going beyond the triviality of what’s required and adding a level of smart logic to the app. Then, you’ll create an app that people will find effortless and love to use. To help you create such an app, we’ll dive into

  • Understanding the goals of the people using the app
  • Tailoring forms within the app to aid ease of use

In this chapter, you’ll also hear about the experiences of Sam, who developed an app for his company that required lots of data entry. His app went through many changes to improve the experience of providing data, making it easier for people to provide accurate information.

6.1. The goals of the people using the app

6.2. How to ask for data to be entered in forms