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Background:

An application team that has a new requirement to an existing business web application. At the moment every week the user (employer/business) that uses this application needs submit paperwork similar to the form below for every employee in a given employment program. This could be anywhere from a handful of papers to 1000's of documents.

The new requirement is to put this functionality into the web application to save user time form filling out paper forms, but this now make a potentially large repetitive task inside the application. Once a person has been entered into the system, the weekly values will update/persist from week to week.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

What would be the best way to repetitively present this form to the user per employee while maintaining a good user experience?

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In order to submit this paperwork, does the user have everything they need to know visible on-screen? Or do they need to refer to something else e.g. another application, or paper notes? –  vincebowdren Sep 10 '13 at 15:43
    
In the current "analog" system user (business) track the information internally however they deem fit. So in essence they have all the information "in front" of them. –  JeffH Sep 10 '13 at 17:02
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First I would try to cut down on form usage through automation, showing multiple people at once (if the form is short, it could be presented in tabular form and the user could simply "sign off" on each unchanged entry via a checkbox or something similar), etc.

Beyond that, optimize the form for expert usage - enable good tab order and keyboard shortcuts, ensure that past data is populated correctly. If history is important you might consider showing a brief change summary somewhere on the form.

Overall, however, if usage is as high as you say, there is only so much optimization you can do on a form you have to fill out a thousand times a week - you'll probably get more UX impact by automating this task as much as possible.

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  • Repetitive dropdown selections are painfull

  • Dropdowns can many times be reduced to radiobuttons or checkboxes.

  • Radio buttons with two answers can almost always be reduced to a checkbox.

  • Merge actions when you can

Here a proposal

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

To improve user exeprience you can use a card pattern, so the user sees what she has to do and what she has done.

mockup

download bmml source

(IMO Option 1 is cooler)

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