In my particular case, I have a node edit form that can be related to other nodes of a different type. Selecting the associated entity is accomplished using Inline Entity Form widget (multiple values).
The problem is, a user never knows if the child entity exists. Therefore, associating it is always a multi-step process, because they have to use "Add Existing" to search for duplicates before they click "Add New" to add the new one:
- Always click on "Add Existing"
- Type in the title to search for
- If the Entity is found, finish; else, click "Cancel"
- Click on "Add New"
- Type in the title you just typed in, fill out the rest of the node fields, and click "Save"
This potetially five-step process could be made into a two-step process:
- Type in the title and wait for autocomplete. If found, click "Save"; else, the autocomplete form expands to reveal the inline node entry form with the title pre-filled
- type in the node fields and click "Save"
The "Add New" and "Add Existing" buttons are unnecessary in this type of a use case. If an entity already exists, it's logical to assume that the user wants to associate it, rather than create a duplicate. If an entity is not found, it's logical to assume that the user would like to create one with the information they just typed in.
The configuration settings for this new feature could be accomplished by creating a "Automatically create unique entities" option under "Allow users to add existing nodes". This option would hide the "Add" buttons, and enable the operation as per above.