0

Dropdown

Description

The Dropdown part allows you to present to end users a dropdown menu from which to select one or multiple options. You create a dropdown menu by entering the selectable options by hand, or you can create a table that contains the dropdown menu options for the system to display.

The Dropdown part allows for two primary types of dropdown configuration:

  • Simple Dropdown – This results in a single answer; for example, "Which of the following items is your #1 favorite food?".
  • Multi-select Dropdown – This results in one or more answers; for example, "Which of the following countries have you visited?".

Node Type: This is available in the form-part menu and can also be created using a Dropdown form-part node.

Used With: The dropdown part is available for use in projects created in using all frameworks as well as in projects without a framework.

Tips and Tricks

Creating Dropdown Menus

You can create dropdown menus using a list of manually entered choices. You can also create dropdown choices dynamically:
- From data contained in a table you create in the project/resources/data folder or from an external data source.
- From a data collection created from a data table or in an interim collection containing relevant choices based on the user’s input.

Displaying Other Text

By default, when the system displays the dropdown menu and before the user clicks on it, the system displays the first item in the list. ON the Advanced tab, however, you can change what the system displays. Set the Top choice caption to "---choose from list---" or something similar and leave the top choice value blank. This works for single-selection menus only.

If you are populating the dropdown menu from a collection the system displays fields that allow you to specify captions and values independently. You can also define complex captions from multiple objects in the collection; for example, you could add a product name to a SKU or a continent to a country name.

When Not to Use Dropdowns

Dropdown menus require more "work" on the part of the user to answer a question, especially those dropdowns with a lot of choices or multi-select dropdowns. For example, users can navigate through radio lists, checklists, and text input fields using the keyboard only. If you are trying to speed up a user's ability to answer questions in your application, you may want to use dropdowns sparingly.

It is possible to string together several radio/checklist questions that narrow down the user's choices; for example, if you wanted to ask the user the countries he visited last year you could first ask the user to choose which continent he visited. You would then display a shorter dropdown menu of countries visited because you can filter by continent. You might also consider using an autocomplete text input field as a replacement for a simple dropdown with many choices.

Editor Fields

Basic Tab Options

Field Name Description/Use Type/Options Mandatory/Optional
Type

(v7.4+)

This field defaults to the specific form part you selected from the Nodes Toolbox; for example, a dropdown menu. However, you can use this field to quickly change the type of form part without having to recreate answer options. If you first created your question and a checklist, for example, but realize it should be a radio list, use this field to select an alternative question type, and click save.

The system transfers the key parameters into the new question type. Parameters specific to the question type (e.g. top choice for dropdown) remain in the configuration, and will be redisplayed if you convert the form part back to your original selection. Making this change may trigger some validation warnings, which you can address as necessary.

WARNING: When converting a radio list with "Route on Output" to a checklist, remove the Route on Output flag prior to converting your part or remember to connect the checklist with the next node using a standard link (not one that says "default" or a specific answer option).

NOTE: When switching from a checklist to dropdown, the data type stays set to collection, which results in the dropdown allowing multiple values. To force the user to select only one value from the dropdown list, change the data type to text or number based on the answer options.

- Radiolist
- Checklist
- Dropdown
Mandatory
HTML enabled When this is enabled you can put HTML formatting in the Question caption, which means the system will display HTML tags in the text in the caption editor as they would appear in a browser. The editor browser provides limited HTML editing options for text formatting. You can toggle the HTML-enabled button on and off to alternate between seeing and editing tags and displaying them as they will appear. Checkbox Optional
Question This is the question or caption the system will display next to your dropdown menu. Text Mandatory
Data object This is the name of the data object in which the VALUE associated with the user’s choice will be stored. This will be a single object variable in the case of a simple dropdown, or a collection in the case of a multi-select dropdown. Text Mandatory
Caption object This is the name of the data object in which the CAPTION associated with the user’s choice will be stored. This will be a single object variable in the case of a simple dropdown, or a collection in the case of a multi-select dropdown. Text Optional
Weight If you are using predictive diagnostics or calculating weights, this is the weighting for the question regardless of answer chosen. (Note: You may assign a weight to each answer option.) Number Optional
Submit on select If you click this checkbox, the system will move to the next question or the next page when the user makes a selection from the dropdown menu. If your application is based on a framework the system submits the form when the user makes a dropdown menu selection and the system executes parallel and downstream steps. Checkbox Optional
Route on output If you click this checkbox, the system will use the selected data object as the path to the next step. For example, if the dropdown menu options are "bike", "car", and "plane" and the user selects "bike", the system would then follow the path designated for "bike".

This option can only be used for simple dropdowns.

Checkbox Optional
Data type This is the category of the data object and value(s) being retrieved by user input. Select text or number for simple dropdowns, and select collection for multi-select dropdown menus. - Text
- Number
- Collection
Mandatory
Data location This tells the system where to look for the data that makes up your dropdown menu, and you have the following options:
  • Manual: If you select this option, you enter the options from which you want users to select in the dropdown menu. You use the Options field (described below) to create the menu.
  • Numbered Collection: If you select collection, you enter the name of the collection from which dropdown choices are drawn.
    color[1] = "red", color[2] = "blue"
  • Indexed Collection: An indexed collection is one where the different items are distinguished by a text-based index rather than a number. Use this data location type if your collection consists of items as follows:
    {option[blue]=50, option[red]=100}
    For multi-dimensional collections (numbered or indexed) one or more caption fields can be shown and a captions separator can be specified (e.g. "–" or ", "). Using [comma space] as a separator would make the answer options look like this:
    Bike, 2 wheels, blue, 50
    Car, 4 wheels, red, 100
    Truck, 18 wheels, 250
    When displaying multiple captions in a string for each option, check Skip Empty Fields to exclude blank captions (e .g truck has no value for color in list above).
  • Table Data: You can create your dropdown menu from a table that exists in your project in the resources/data folder. For example, you may have a table that lists all of the items your company sells. You wouldn't want to type all of those items into each question that references those items. Instead the items can be created in a table, and the dropdown part fetches appropriate values. (Once table data is selected the Designer is prompted for the table name, fields, and any selection criteria. Leave selection criteria blank if the system should retrieve ALL records).
- Manual
- Numbered
- Collection
- Indexed collection
- Table data
Mandatory
Options If your data source is manual, you enter the values and captions you want to include in the dropdown menu.
  • Value: This is what the system captures when the user makes a dropdown selection.
  • Caption: This is what the user sees when the system displays the dropdown options.
  • Weight: If you have using predictive diagnostics or calculating weights, you can set the weight that this answer should be given in relation to other answers in the dropdown menu.
  • Condition: If you only want a selection to be available if certain conditions are met you use this field to set the condition statement. The syntax is you should use is described here: Setting Condition Syntax.
  • Speech command: If speech recognition is enabled, this is the recognized command the system will use to identify the item the user selected from the dropdown menu.
  • Options: Button. This is used to add, rename, and remove the item.
- Text
- Number
Mandatory
Speech command If speech recognition is enabled, this is the recognized command the system will use to identify the dropdown component so its individual items can be specified. Text Optional

Validation Tab Options

Field Name Description/Use Type/Options Optional/Mandatory
Type This field allows you to configure a validation error to display when the condition is violated.
  • mandatory: The user must enter a value.
  • numeric, percentage, currency: The value must be a number and may contain a comma or dot as the decimal character. You can use this validation rule when the data object type is set to text. This combination allows the user to enter a decimal number and allows users to enter a different decimal point (e.g. comma).
  • time: The input must be a time string: hh:mm or hhmm. 12:14 and 1214 are both allowed
  • custom: This allows you to set a custom condition.
  • email: The value must contain an @ symbol.
  • date: The input must be a date string: mm/dd/yy.
Options Optional
Condition This is only required when type=custom. See Setting Conditions (Data Validation) for more information.   Optional
Message This is the message the system displays to the user when a validation rule is violated. The system only shows the first message for the violated rule to the user.   Optional

Advanced Tab Options

Field Name Description/Use Type/Options Optional/Mandatory
Top choice caption This is the caption of the item you would like to display at the top of the dropdown menu. Note: The system does not display this option when Processing Mode is set to use context. See below. - Text
- Number
Optional
Top choice value This is the value the system will record if the user selects the top choice caption you set for the the first item in the dropdown menu. Note: The system does not display this option when Processing Mode is set to use context. See below. - Text
- Number
Optional
Default value To pre-populate the dropdown menu with a starting value, enter the answer option here. - Text
- Number
Optional
Select values on top This field is valid only for a multi-select dropdown menu. If this checkbox is checked the system will display the selected items at the top of the dropdown menu so users can see what they have chosen. Checkbox Optional
Filtering enabled This field is valid only for a multi-select dropdown menu with many items. It allows you to apply a text filter above the dropdown menu choices so the user can shorten the visible list with a search string. Checkbox Optional
Display selected values on new line This field is valid only for a multi-select dropdown menu. If you check this checkbox the system displays on a separate line at the top of the dropdown menu each of the selected items so users can see what they have chosen. Checkbox Optional
Check all text This field is valid only for a multi-select dropdown menu. It allows you to enter the text the system displays at the top of the multi-select dropdown menu, and the user can click the text to select all elements in the dropdown menu at once. - Text
- Number
Optional
Uncheck all text This field is valid only for a multi-select dropdown menu. It allows you to enter the text the system displays at the top of the multi-select dropdown menu, and the user can click the text to deselect all elements in the dropdown menu at once. - Text
- Number
Optional
None selected text This field is valid only for a multi-select dropdown menu. This is the text the system will display at the top of a collapsed multi-select dropdown menu to indicate that none of the elements in the dropdown have been selected. When the user has selected at least one element, the system displays the value of the selected element(s) instead. - Text
- Number
Optional
Processing Mode
(v7.4)
The default behavior is Always use form value, which takes the user input or on-screen value, including "not answered", and assigns it to the data object.

If an earlier answer/pathway combines to set a later on-screen variable, choose Use ctx for this data object to display the context value. This value can always be overwritten by user input
- Always use form value
- Use ctx when form value empty
Mandatory
Add empty top choice This field only displays if Processing Mode is set to Use ctx when form value empty.

Turn this feature on when the user needs to be able to "answer" a dropdown question with an empty response (null value) that is not part of the dropdown choice list, collection, or table of values. Leave this feature off if the user should choose from only the modeled dropdown options.
Checkbox Optional

Example

Download the example project to see the different dropdown options possible.

Reply Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
Like Follow
  • 9 mths agoLast active
  • 75Views
  • 4 Following

Home