Speedy Data Entry
Many industries (medical, insurance, rentals, to name a few) need speedy data entry, but not at the expense of accuracy and detail. As a result, database programmers have experimented with different “word or phrase” pickers to speed the process.
A common form of this is to build a series of often used words and phrases that are clickable as buttons, which then paste the phrase into the targeted field, such as patient notes, adding the word or phrase to the rest of the text, properly formatted and with the proper carriage returns.
Taking it up a notch
A more advanced version lets users select a major topic and let’s the user see related minor topics. Clicking on a minor topic then shows even more options to the user, from which they can choose the specific word or phrase they want, and click to place it in the targeted field.
Another example of the power of a word picker is one I wrote for a company that inspected rental houses . The inspectors used iPads to note the condition of the property starting from the general outside appearance: The lawn is mowed, weeds are picked, etc. Every item had clickable options: The Grass is green, brown, cut, trimmed, etc. The yard is Clean, Messy, Weed Infested, etc.
The word picker allowed the user to click words and phrases, and to add the connecting words, such as “and”, “or”, or “but”. They could also add periods, commas and carriage returns where needed.
By the end of the inspection, the inspector had a detailed, grammatically correct report. Another click saved the report as pdf and sent it to the home office, the home owner, and the tenant. And the inspector never had to type a single word!
Navigating within the field
On another front, Martha Zink shows a way to speed data entry for customers by filling a note with needed data points, all accessible by tabbing from one marker to another. Her method, called Staying on the Keyboard, is a handy to way to allow speedy data entry and fast modification of the pre-entered data (be sure to download the demo file at the link):
If your client needs speedy data entry, offering custom (and customizable) word pickers might be the solution they need. Speed up their data entry and let them reap the rewards of higher productivity with fewer errors.