Blog Archives

Guided Description Forms

Today’s blog post moves a bit away from my current trend in Node.js server side code and moves on to a UX/UI problem that I solved recently.

The problem

You have a description field – just a text/html wysiwyg field that the user is supposed to fill out. The problem is that for whatever reason you want the user to add specific data to the field or in a specific format and our users are not very good at following instructions as we all know! Now you could just pre-populate the field with some titles and blanks for them to fill out, but this isn’t very “nice” to use. I came up with the following solution (cause running code is worth more than the proverbial 10,000 words):

Explained

This code runs around 2 main directives called: ‘dynamicInput’ and ‘formDescription’. Pretty simple, the former takes in some options that change how it is displayed, the latter watches all the fields passed into it to update one ng-model with the compiled code.

Hope this helps out someone else, if you have any comments/improvements or use this in some cool app – Please let me know in the comments!!

AngularJS drag ‘n’ drop re-order in ngRepeat

EDIT I’ve just got a github up for this here: https://github.com/SimeonC/ngRepeatReorder. I’ve fixed some of the bugs in the code and updated it to run on the 1.2.x angularjs codebase.

I’ve been busy on some small projects that I’ve been doing recently and a little problem I’ve had to overcome is the difficulty of doing drag ‘n’ drop reorders in an ngRepeat.

After looking around the web I came up with the following solution:

See the Pen AngularJS ngRepeat Drag n Drop by SimeonC (@SimeonC) on CodePen

How It Works

In short this works by starting with the ngRepeat code in angular.js. Which in itself is complex as you have to also copy over a bunch of functions that it uses that are hidden elsewhere in the codebase. Then you add all the lovely complexity of moving elements around – I decided to simplify this by limiting the movement within the list bounds and only do vertical re-ordering. I animate this by fiddling with the margins – creating a gap where the ‘dragged’ element is going to drop into and then using +/- margins to position the dragging element correctly. Also we add in classes for display purposes.

The last hurdle I had to overcome is to modify the ngRepeat element before our modified ngRepeat compiles the element, I did this with a second directive that executes before the ngRepeat and adds the event tags onto the element.