Account Selection, Take 2

OK, I am trying something different, that simplifies selection by name. The change is only in the register window so far, but I want to know what you all think of it, to see whether I should keep the change (and if so, make the same change pretty much everywhere you can select an account).

This is the change:

In register windows, when you move into the field for the account (in the register itself, not the register splits window), the drop-down immediately drops down. And if you press a letter key, for the first letter of an account name, it immediately re-sorts the list alphabetically, so that you see accounts in order that start with that letter, making it easier to select them if the first match wasn’t the one you wanted. (If you don’t press a letter key, the accounts are still in chart of accounts order.)

If you have time and interest, please try this out from http://www.software4nonprofits.com/accounts/pretest.htm, and let me know what you think. (And if you don’t have time, but have a comment on the idea, that’s OK too!)

Thanks!

6 thoughts on “Account Selection, Take 2

  1. Dan, it does work well. I just have one concern, which may not really be an issue. It’s important that the user understands chart of account structure for instances where they have named accounts with very similar names. The concern is that this makes it easier for the user to choose the wrong account. Before this change the accounts would always display in chart of account structure order and you knew if you were in the balance sheet section or income/expense section. Again my concern may be very miniscule compared to the benefit of this new feature. If it’s to be used it should be done throughout all windows.

    • Yes, Ralston, I understand this concern. That’s why when you first click into an Account field, it’s still in chart of accounts order. It’s only when you press a letter that it switches to alpha order. And if you click or Tab out of the field, then come back, it’s back in chart of accounts order again. Perhaps a bit confusing at first, but I think it works.
      In terms of working everywhere, currently I’m thinking that the exceptions will be the places like the bank account selection at the top of Write Cheques, etc. – you are choosing from so many accounts, and for must users those selections will always use the same account, that having them auto pop down, and sort alpha on a letter pressed, doesn’t seem helpful.

  2. Dan,

    It works well.. I haven’t fully decided how I feel about it, however… here is where I am at this time.

    It definitely needs a way to toggle back to the acct no ordered listing so that I can peruse expense accts that might be applicable without having to search out exp accts from the rest.

    I can even see greater merit to a toggle between alphabetical or numeric listings.. but within the major headings of income, expense, fund, asset, etc.. It seems like we will know what type of account we are seeking but just need the easiest way to find the specific account within a listing of that acct type… to me it would be alphabetical within major groupings.

    If you ever get around to implementing this system in the check and deposit window, it would even be nice to display the expense accounts first in the check window account drop-down and the income accounts first in the deposit window account listing. QB Online does this and it makes is particularly easy to get to the proper section of the account listing without removing the possibility that one might want to post income to an expense account. QB Online does not have the alphabetical feature (if you are using acct numbers) so I like this as an easier way.

    I make my suggestion of alpha and numerical within major groups recognizing that this probably makes autocomplete and “jump to the first letter” more difficult if not impossible.. so it may not be a good trade-off.. just some food for thought..

    David

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