Tutorial 201:

Create

Tutorial 201: Lesson 6

Improving User Experience

Lesson Materials
Download Files

Faster, easier data entry

You have layouts designed to show users necessary data, both for review and for data entry. Gathering this data is one of your custom app’s most important tasks. Help your users enter data more efficiently and accurately by setting field options that streamline their work.

You can use checkbox sets and drop-down menus to make data entry as easy as tapping to make a choice, and format data so users don’t have to enter characters like dollar or percent signs. Manage data changes by only allowing users into fields they should be able to edit, and keeping them out of fields that should be read-only. Help users take quick actions by giving visual clues, like making a signature field bright blue to help clients find the right place to sign for their services.

You’ll also learn how to open your app on an iPad, so you can test it in the same manner your users will be interacting with it. This hands-on testing gives you valuable feedback, so you can see which refinements will make users’ work simpler.

Note that these exercises use FileMaker Go on the iPad to test interacting with the app as a mobile user. If you don’t have an iPad, you can still see the interactions and features in the videos.

Why is this important?

  • You won’t be able to get meaningful reports out of an app unless users put good data into the app. You can make this critical step easy for your users so adding good data is effortless.
  • The best app in the world isn’t useful unless its users find it to be. Testing as a user as you add new features will help you see ways to improve your app and smooth out any rough edges.

Video 1

Accessing iPad capabilities in your app

Learn how to use your app from the iPad, so you can test iPad-specific features like signature capture and inserting photos from the device’s camera.

In this video, you will:

  • Share an app from your desktop: allow your file to be seen by other devices (1:04)
  • Open the app on iPad: take your app with you (1:38)
  • Take photos: use your touch device’s camera (3:05)
  • Gather signatures: capture signatures in FileMaker Go (4:13)

Video 2

Formatting field objects

In this activity, set different fields with settings specific to their data type to make data entry quick and consistent, and draw users’ attention to important fields.

In this video, you will:

  • Observe field behavior: test entering data, and log how the process could be smoother (0:46)
  • Prevent data entry: keep users from clicking into read-only fields (3:00)
  • Choose data formats: display data consistently (3:58)
  • Set field control styles: provide data entry shortcuts (4:34)
  • Create a value list: control user choices (5:00)
  • Conditional formatting: highlight important fields if they’re left empty (7:10)

Related Resource