Data entry template tricks user into thinking they are done entering all data
Background: Entity I'm working for uses a large number of data entry forms, somewhere along 800-900 range--partially due to regulation and partially self-inflected due to current process. The usage probably follows the 80/20 rule where 20% of forms are heavily used while 80% are seldom used.
Problem: Users are often not completing the forms because they believe they have reached the "end" of the form. Often, there is very little visual indication that there are more fields which need to be filled. Not all forms have minimum requirement rules before submission which is a problem in itself as users believe the system will flag missing fields and that's not always the case.
Potential solutions: The problem is large enough that I think it will have to be attacked from several angles.
- Moving forward, newly issued forms and forms that need refactoring/updates will be required to have required fields coded before pushing to prod.
- The user interface will have a few elements removed, such as a horizontal line that seems to indicate the "end" of the form, but it's sole purpose is to delineate between the submit button.
Here is where I'm stuck. We are working in Angular and I've been looking around for an auto-scroll. The idea is to scroll the page down once the user gets to a specific field. However, this method also makes it form specific (we would need a different trigger for each form) and not universal.
Another idea would be to use a tool such as WalkMe to indicate to the user to "scroll down" using a down arrow. The arrow would always be on so long the scroll bar isn't all the way to the bottom.
Greying out the submission button is out of the question. Users will almost definitely call our Call Center to complain that they can't submit a form and we always try to avoid more phone calls.
Another idea would be to hide the submit button until the user scrolls all the way to the bottom. However, this is similar to greying out the button in my opinion. People will call to complain they can't submit a form.
This issue is tricky enough that we've gotten feedback that fields are "missing" just because users can't see them. When I went to investigate, I was tricked the exact same way as the user was. However, our triage process helped due to me having to test a large number of forms prior to me realizing that the field was always there and I just hadn't scrolled.
Any other suggestions?
Things that come to my mind are:
- Display a horizontal scroll indicator fixed to the top of the page: Maybe it is not obvious enough that there is more to see. A more prominent way of visualizing that might help
- Prompt the user with a dialog if they want to navigate away and haven't submitted yet.
- Display some kind of progress of all filled out forms, e.g. 23/100 forms filled