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If your dropdown menu has more than seven choices, it’s useless
8 January 2016, by , in Data Management, IT, No comments

Which dropdown menu am I referring to? Any of them.

The paradox of choice is that the more choices we are given, the less likely we are to decide. When your customer is presented with a dropdown menu that has dozens of choices, she is unlikely to scan through all the choices available and will either choose nothing or choose something that isn’t really appropriate.

For example, if on your name prefix dropdown menu you offer 20 choices (I’ve seen this with my clients!), most customers will choose the prefix that is closest (e.g,. if they are a Monsignor and come across Mr. first, they may just choose that to be done with it all!).

So when you’re setting up a dropdown menu in your database, keep in mind that less is better. If you can keep it to seven choice or fewer, you’ll be in good shape.

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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