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Advanced Input - User Interface / User Experience

We are having problems with a piece of data input.

There are some drop downs, where the user selects the item, but we want the user to be able to add to the drop down as they work. On the right are the drop downs, on the left input boxes to add to the corresponding dropdowns.
It all functions well, but it looks and feels horrible.

You can see some other ideas we’ve worked on here:

How would YOU do it?

I would get rid of the input and put a ‘+’ icon next to the dropdown that when clicked will open a popup where the user can then ad a new item if it’s not already on the list.


Surely it will all depend on how volatile that data is ?

Here is how Google Keep does Labels. It is all Material based “popups” … ahem … “Emitted Material”.

So progressive disclosure of function. Contextual menus. Menu Lists not Dropdowns.

Although Keep labels are a) multi selection b) optional.

Ask whether you really NEED “Artwork Type” to compete the user’s goal ?

So you would, I think, hide the clutter behind a hover over the material.


And have your categories in there as optional. Once selected you can show them as labels as with “Inspiration” above.

But that is a lot of hard work to get a clean, uncluttered,