The 6 Database Application Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid: Part 1
If you design it the right way, a database application is one of the top data management solution to adopt to improve your business productivity and efficiency. To make sure you are on the right track, read these first three examples of easily avoidable mistakes not to make in the design process. You can thank me later.
# 1 More is not always the merrier: too many fields will create confusion
If you have to scroll down endlessly to find the field you want to use to update the information of your client while she is on the phone, both of you may need a lot of patience. Don’t push your luck and avoid this potential problem. When you design your application, you want to keep it simple. You should only add the fields you will actually use.
This may sound overly simple but it actually makes a lot of sense. To make sure you have an efficient design, start your first draft on paper. Map the fields you think you could use and discuss it at you next meeting with the other users. Once you made your choice, take the 30 minutes it takes to actually create the application.
For the information that doesn’t deserve its own field such as very specific comments or cues about a client, use a comment section. This will allow you to still collect and share the information without cluttering your app with unnecessary fields.
# 2 Organization is key: sort your fields by importance
You want to put the most used fields first in your application. For my client example, I usually add a “Company Name”, “First Name”, “Last Name” and “Title” field on the first one or two lines of my new app. Then, it’s totally up to you and the other members of your team who will be using this app. Are you mostly using the email to contact your client? If you are, the “Email” field should be on top of the list. If you rarely use the phone, put this information at the end of your application.
Remember that when you first create your database application, there will be a break-in period. You will use it for a few days, maybe for a few weeks and then will make some adjustments. Fortunately for you, you can move your fields around your app in just a few clicks without loosing your data. Just a quick reminder here; if you delete a field, you are also deleting the data. You really want to make sure you copied the information somewhere else or that the data didn’t have any importance before hitting delete.
# 3 Everything in its place: use the right field for the right information
I know I said this many times before, but I think it’s worth repeating. Kohezion currently offers 24 different types of fields and we are adding some new ones regularly. There is a reason why there are so many different fields and this reason is that your data has specific characteristics. Each type of field will answer the needs of each specific characteristic since it is “flagged” for it.
For example, you could type in some date and time information in a single line text field. When you open one item at a time and read this information, it could work out. But, if you want to create searches based on dates and times, the system would not be able to use your data collected in a single line text since it is not “flagged” as date and time data. When you want to know what are your contracts to be renewed in the next seven days, you can use the date data collected in your “Renewal Date” date field and use the easy date selector to select “next 7 days”.
Three more examples of easily avoidable database application mistakes to come next week, stay tuned!
Latest posts by Marie-Josee Porlier (see all)
- One-to-many relationship: How to link your applications together - November 29, 2016
- Kohezion Officially Launched in the Greater Montreal Area - November 10, 2014
- The 6 Database Application Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid: Part 2 - October 21, 2014