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I am a programmer & I am working on a web app that requires a GUI for facilitating mass data entry. Now this "data entry" can be of different types like audio, video, text etc. I already have forms for each type.

But I was wondering what are the best practices GUI-wise to handle this? I also need the capability of sorting these entries before they are even uploaded to the server.

Right now I can think of having one data entry form (of say text datatype) be always present by default & then have a little add button below it, clicking on which presents user the option of adding a dataentry form of one of the datatypes. This will cause the new form to appear right below the previous form.

Should I save everything at one-go when the user says, "Ok, I am done now!" Or I should save one data entry at a time & then give user constant update on which item is being processed right now? Since we are allowing audio, image, video uploads as well there is a consideration about a lot of time taken by the heavy files etc.

Is there any nicer way to approach this problem? Any mockups or sites I can look up?

Thanks.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Save at the time & constant update

This gives the user feedback that she is doing the right things. And also a safe feeling that all hard work is not lost. Also I've seen a lot of people being scared for hitting the submit button if there was no feedback in between. In general it gives a much nicer experience.

Remember though that it would be good if you can cover for the event that something happens in between; when users have uploaded a few things but haven't hitted the final submit. What do you do then? Are those things already 'published'? If such a state exists in your program? If not, make sure you present them later on with that they still have to finish the process, although there data was already saved.

If there is no such state as 'published', and uploaded means they are done with it, you can go a bit further maybe. Adding a new item (by asking for a new form field) adds the field on top of the other. Below, the filled in field is being uploaded and above that, they can concentrate on the new item. Items that get uploaded successfully, sink further to the bottom or get nicely ordered with thumbnails. Items that had form errors or didn't upload well, stay there and ask for a bit of attention.

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