Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Improving how we show help messages

Before Orbeon Forms 4.5, we've been using modal dialogs to show help messages. This was a rather heavy handed approach which prevented users from filling out the field while seeing the help message. Now, help messages show using a Bootstrap popover shown next to the relevant field, as shown in the screenshot below. Also, in addition to allowing users to interact with the form as they read the help message, the help message gets a fresher, more modern look, thanks to Bootstrap.

In the vast majority of the cases both the form field and the popover will be visible at the same time. This means that if the field is on the right side of the form, the popover will show on the left; this is the opposite of what is shown in the screenshot above. In cases where the field takes the whole width of the form, the popover will show over or under the field, depending on where there is more space. Finally, only in cases where the field is taking all the real estate available on the screen (imagine a large rich text editor), will the popover show over the field.

This feature will be available in Orbeon Forms 4.5.

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