I've been trying to figure out the best way to design a data mapping and editing tool.

The problem is as follows:
I have data from multiple sources that don't follow the same naming convention. For example, data from source 1 has "sex > females" to denote females while data from source 2 has "Gender > Girls/women" to denote females.

What I want to do is to create an interface that would allow me to
1. Map different data to a single data (eg- Girls/women to females)
2. Add, remove or rename data (eg- adding a new car name to "Car > Nissan > "NEW_CAR_NAME")
3. Bucket different data into one new category (eg- putting "females" and "males" under a new category named "people")
4. Order the data. (eg- put female above male or the other way round, etc)

The following is what I've come up with:

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^All the data listed in hierarchical order with the option to expand/minimise and order the data.

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^clicking on the data name brings up a modal that provides you options to rename, add a sub-category or put the data in a bucket.

I'm just not sure what would be the best way to implement this and I'm not particularly happy with the current solution as there could be several nested sub categories and complex mappings.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

  • Implementation questions are generally frowned upon here, as this site is for UX. May 31, 2018 at 14:42
  • 1
    I don't think this is an implementation question but I do think that you're trying to avoid something that is at the core of what you trying to achieve - you're trying to take data built to different standards and allow the user to conform them to a single standard. The level of complexity experienced by the user will be a function of the complexity and disparity of the data sets - I don't think you're going to be able to make it simple for every user and every data set May 31, 2018 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


Assuming there can be multiple data structures to merge, and that the user goal is to create a single new tree view from scratch, I would imagine a UI like this. Splitting the screen in two parts: on the left, the existing categories and sub-categories from the different data sets, on the right, just the root of the tree. The user could then: - drag and drop existing categories they want to keep from left to right, - create new categories from scratch on the right side (and name them any way they want), - merge categories by drag and dropping a category from the left directly into a category on the right. - move / re-organize categories on the right any way they want.

Keeping both views (past / future) will help the user map the data more easily, rather than editing directly the data structure.

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