Hello, and thanks for stopping by!
Today, I want to talk about a small, but common issue on ServiceMax Go - the inability to view the full text of some truncated text values. Let me explain:
In the above example, we have a standard lookup field, and two read-only fields. If I needed to view the full value of the lookup, it's easy enough to tap on the field itself, and be brought to a screen where I can read the full value (as well as select other ones). But for read-only fields, that's not an option because... well they're read-only and not interactive.
OK, now that I've explained the issue, I can walk you through two potential approaches. The first is to simply set all of these field containers to wrap around the value so that they're not cut off. That would solve things, right? Sure we could easily wrap every input field, but we're also wary that long text values push other important content down, which ultimately means technicians see fewer fields at a time and would need to scroll much more. This is highly dependent on how long the text value is; shorter text values that don't wrap would have little to no effect on screen space, but longer text values could easily use up a lot of space.
So what other ways can we solve this problem without compromising on the amount of content that can fit on a screen? We thought, why not try a popover that shows the full value on demand?
Awesome. Now we can see the full value on demand without having to double the page height! Hmm... but we're still not quite sure if this is the best solution to the problem. This design actually compromises in one regard. A "tap and hold" user interaction is now required to see any given value, and only one would be visible at a time. Text wrapping, on the other hand, requires no interaction to see the value. Of course nothing is perfect and both have its drawbacks, but we want to make sure that what we ultimately decide on brings as much value as possible to users in the field.
This is where we'd like some input from you. Between simply wrapping the values and the popover, which of these would allow technicians to be more productive? Do you foresee any potential issues with either of these solutions? Is there one you think technicians would prefer over the other? Why? Lastly, do you have other suggestions? We're all ears!
Looking forward to engaging with you all on this topic in the comments!
UX & Product Design
I saw you posted about viewing/editing long text that get cut off/truncated by form fields a while ago. We're looking into ways to improve that specific user experience on ServiceMax Go, so I wanted to make sure you saw this post and had a chance to offer your feedback.
We'd also love to conduct some usability tests with end users/service technicians. If this is something you'd be interested in participating on please let me know.
UX & Product Design
tab and hold option is better and helps us to solve the problem in lookup.
My concern with tap and hold is that if the text is really long, you might not fit it all into a popup nicely and need to show scroll bars within the popup (which could be ugly). Also it's not the most intuitive as there is no visual cue to let you know you could long touch to make the popup appear and would have to be told you can do that.
Could it work the same as how a long text field displays on a work order layout?
So it starts with wrapping a default of approx. 3 lines, then you show a “more” button to let the user expand it if they wish, which turns into a “less” button to compress it again. If it's a really long field, scrolling is handled nicely by scrolling the overall layout.
I was going to post a screenshot but it seems its not possible to insert pictures into replies here (tried chrome & edge browsers but nothing happens when you click the camera)
Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback
@acooper I think you've raised good points. We had similar concerns with the popover concept during our internal design review. I like your idea about using a "more" and "less" buttons like we do for long text fields in a view, and will be sure to test that in a future iteration.
In the short term, we've moved forward with allowing field values to wrap up to 5 lines before truncation as that would be the quickest way to alleviate current issues.
Although we didn't decide to use the popover to solve this problem in particular, we have some other ideas on where it could be useful. For example, one idea is to use the popover to house a field description or helper text. If there's interest, I can make a separate post on this topic.