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Product selection wizards

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  • Product selection wizards

    Years and years (and years ago) when I used Visual Basic I became enamored of wizards - not the magic flinging types, but the simplified interfaces that elicited responses and guided the user to understanding or through the completion of some process.

    I've been wondering if there are any products for the web that do something like this? The only thing that comes to my mind is but I was thinking more of being able to build wizards for certain confusing products and choices that would allow a customer to work things out without a lot of phone support.

    For example we have some locks that fit roll-up doors. There are a plethora of door companies, and many types of door profiles (ie round ridges, square ridges, square ridges with grooves etc). There are also products like roll-up door springs with all types of sizes, diameters, end types and winds. Either of these would benefit from a wizard that allowed customers to click forward through questions or images to narrow down product choices, or to explain a selection process.

    I know we could have custom programming for every case but I remember a 'wizard builder' from my VB days and it was so easy to simply add a number of 'steps', use some prebuilt triggers, functions and conditions and pop out a simple wizard..

    Anyone aware of anything like that for the web?

  • In general, things like this need to be built around the specific parameters of the product itself. I wouldn't be surprised, in your case, if you'd need considerable differences between say Door Locks and Door Springs. To compare to your VBA analogy, VB, like other programing languages, while applicable to many different applications, have very basic and universal structures to deal with, and in the end, still require quite a bit of knowledge to use. That being said, one could probably build a relatively flexible framework to create a Stepped interface of cascading attribute selection especially if one was willing to reconfigure the product/attribute data structure.
    Bruce Golub
    Phosphor Media - "Your Success is our Business"

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