[Rt-devel] RT 3.6.5 - Bulk CF Update Interface Suggestions

Stephen Turner sturner at MIT.EDU
Thu Dec 6 13:38:29 EST 2007


We've finally gotten around to working with RT 3.6, and it's cool 
that on the bulk update screen you can now update custom fields.

I'd like to make some suggestions about the interface for that, 
though. I know it's subjective, but the "add values/delete values" 
scheme for seems awkward and counter-intuitive. It's certainly 
different from the single-ticket custom field update interface.

I'm thinking that users really think in terms of modifying a field 
value, not adding or deleting values. In fact, 'Add values' seems to 
be a misnomer - if you type something in there (or select something 
from a drop-down) it replaces the current value, it doesn't add it to 
the existing value.

For select fields, how useful is it to be able to delete specific 
values? If I want to clear a custom field on any ticket where the 
value is, say, 'Problem Report', I'm more likely to define my search 
to look for such tickets, or simply define the tickets to be updated 
via the checkboxes on bulk update.

Lastly, one major omission is the ability to just clear a select 
custom field (set it to 'no value') for a list of tickets.

I've attached a screenshot of our implementation of bulk CF updates - 
the interface seems simpler and more intuitive. We've added a 'null' 
entry to drop-downs, marked by '------', which means 'don't update 
the field'. This means that selecting 'no value' means "set the field 
to 'no value' on selected tickets". This behavior matches the 
single-ticket update pages.

You can do everything else with this interface except 'set field to 
no-value where current value is "foo"' - but as I describe above, 
this would more likely to be done by limiting the search and/or checking boxes.


Stephen Turner
Senior Programmer/Analyst - Client Support Services
MIT Information Services and Technology (IS&T)

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