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From: Rosemary J Horner [mailto:rhorner -at- quellos -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 2:11 PM
Subject: terminology help
I'm struggling to explain a concept in one of our apps that relies on a
parent/child structure of objects. Users can create a relationship between
two objects; the one they start with is automatically the parent. After the
relationship has been added, it is displayed in a list, exactly the same way
on both objects. The only difference is when you open it to edit--then you
can see which is the parent and which is the child. It is possible to have
the same type of relationship twice between objects A and B-- where
A=parent, B=child and where A=child, B=parent. It looks like the same thing
is listed twice.
I am generally encouraged to provide usability feedback. I have already
commented that the words Parent Object and Child Object are too technical to
be used in the interface, but have so far been unable to come up with
suitable alternatives. Now that I'm delving into the details of
relationships, and am faced with actually trying to explain them, I think
it's even more of an issue.
A little more background: this is a custom inhouse app that's already in
use, with barebones help that doesn't even mention relationships. I'm
writing new, in-depth help. Any suggestion for an interface change needs to
show a benefit in reduced data errors.
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