In the vast majority of forms in Contextualise the user is expected to provide references to other topics. For example, when creating an association, the user needs to provide up to five separate references to other topics if overriding the defaults and providing “advanced” values (see the attached screen shot below):

  1. destination topic
  2. destination role
  3. source role
  4. association type
  5. context (that is, scope)
Creation association form

All of the referenced topics have to exist in advance to creating an association which really can result in a very cumbersome and frustrating user experience. Often the user doesn’t even realise that the necessary topics don’t exist until they are in the process of creating the association at which point they are stopped in their tracks due to not being able to provide the reference to a topic. All in all, an unsatisfactory user experience.

A suggested workflow (for each reference) would be to determine the existence of the topic after the user has provided the reference/identifier; if a topic with that reference/identifier does not exist then present the user with the possibility to create the topic “in place” (that is, as part of the creation workflow) in a separate, intermediate workflow.

As mentioned, the in place topic creation workflow will be used throughout the application —where ever a topic reference is required— and for that reason needs careful consideration. Having said that, I also want to get this feature in to the hands of users as quickly as possible to iterate on it, if necessary. An issue has been created for this feature in GitHub, here.

Like always, suggestions with regards to Contextualise in general or this feature in particular are more than welcome.

Update Sunday, May 24, 2020: The in place topic creation workflow has been implemented and is available in Contextualise.