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I'm developing a page where the user can ask for firewall rules to be open. The user should be able to enter the IPs, IP's ranges, ports and port ranges that s/he wants to be opened. s/he should be able to enter any number of groups of IPs and ports like this:

10.200.10.10, 10.215.20.0/24                    tcp 80,8080-8088  udp 21,23
160.200.15.10, 180.215.0.0/16, 180.115.20.10    tcp 80,443        udp 10

A group can have one or many IPs/ranges and one or many ports/ranges for tcp or udp. So initially I made the interface more or less like this:

UX example

And let the user type a comma separated list of IPs/ranges and ports/ranges and validate the whole string on submit. The user can include lines clicking in "+ Add new destiny" link.

But this way it's feeling a bit amateurish. Maybe it's just me. Anyone can think in a better way of doing this ?

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    Just thought you might want to read something about structured number input from a previous post: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/74035/… – Michael Lai Aug 14 '18 at 22:59
  • Also, you might need to change the text from '+ Add new destiny' to '+ Add new destination' to make it clearer for the user. – Michael Lai Aug 14 '18 at 22:59
  • It's just a mistranslation I made in the image for this site. The real text is in portuguese. – Nelson Teixeira Aug 14 '18 at 23:29
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I had to do this for an app and we ended up going with a multi line textarea (with a fixed width font) for several reasons and it worked really well.

  1. It made copy/pasting from anywhere else super easy in one shot (eg from a text editor or excel)
  2. By naturally breaking each entry by the line breaks they visually sort vertically
  3. By its nature this was a technical “I.T.” Interface this didn’t need much/any guidance for the end user (we just added a note to put each entry on a new line)
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Just to contribute to someone developing something similar I'll include the solution I adopted. The grey bar in the left of IPs field is a scroll bar, because it's possible to have many IPs in one rule. Hope it helps someone. Comments are welcome :)

interface's screenshot

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Masking multiple comma separated values in a single form field could easily become challenging for the user.

You might consider each group being laid out on a card.

A typical form pattern may not be the best fit for this interaction (similar to https://www.nngroup.com/articles/forms-vs-applications/).

It definitely depends on your users though and their comfort level/familiarity with interfaces of similar services/use cases.

I would test a few options to see what is easiest for your user to interact with.

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