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I need to do some sort of form for bulk uploading information, which will then be converted to a data table for individual editing.

The thing is I have some setbacks because of the way it was built. I can't change any of this sadly, I'm trying to at least make it as usable as possible.

  • I don't have much space available as it's made inside a modal.
  • I was discouraged to use a table instead of text fields (the user just wants to copy and paste the information is what I was told)
  • There are too many fields (25+ fields) that make the modal scroll both ways (horizontal and vertical)

The flow goes like this:

  1. The user selects bulk uploading and a modal pops.
  2. The user then copies and pastes a list with information for each text field and selects the dropdowns (it's just one dropdown per upload), when clicking save the modal closes and saves the information.
  3. The program pairs the information of each text field and makes it into a data table with individual editing options (bulk editing is no longer available). Individual editing is made with a 3-step wizard.

Any suggestion is greatly appreciated!

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  • Based on what you’ve shared, the users are admin staff, not power users? Do they copy the information from another application?
    – Eric Chia
    Jan 21 '21 at 3:30
  • Yes, you are correct, they copy the information from an excel file that the clients sent to them.
    – Mar
    Jan 21 '21 at 12:34
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+25

ideally, the process flow should be as follows, and it should be easy for admin staff to learn and follow:

  1. user selects bulk uploading and a modal pops up
  2. modal is a window allowing user to drag and drop the excel file into the modal
  3. system reads the file and auto-populates the information into the database

But based on what I read, it seemed that for whatsoever reason, your users need to copy and paste information into the modal, and that you're stuck with this method of having a modal popup with 25 data fields and a group of users who are happy to arrange the data properly before uploading them into the system. If this is the case, then you may want to do some tweaks to the program. These are individual suggestions, you can implement any or all of them, I hope they help.

  • Consider auto-minimising the main window when the modal pops up, so that the modal is overlaying the excel file and users can either type or copy the information from the excel file into the modal without changing windows. And of course the minimised main window has to be maximised when user saves and close the modal.
  • For the modal pop up, you can consider squeezing all the information into a single view without vertical and horizontal scrolls. This will make the modal size big, but I believe it can be half the screen size and yet not affect the user experience. Squeezing it all in without scroll bars will help users immediately identify what is needed and reduce cognitive loading in using the software. I can help with a mock up if you can share the list of 25+ fields.
  • You can consider allowing the cursor to move to the next field when the user pastes information into the field, this accelerator will help users to do less clicks, but the disadvantage is if the information is keyed in wrongly they will have to take the additional step to move back to the previous field. Users will need time to get used to this feature if you choose to implement this.

That's all I have for now. Considering the work needed, I would strongly encourage you to explore the ideal process flow I gave above. Good luck!

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A bulk upload seems to me an improved way to go.

Instead of making the users type each and every field from a spreadsheet to an input field, have you considered the option to allow the users to upload a csv file instead?

And upon successful upload, allow the users to review and perhaps edit the data in the cells before permanently storing the data to the server.

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  • Seconding the CSV upload suggestion, it's a common pattern that's helpful when users already have spreadsheets with the information in them.
    – Izquierdo
    Jan 21 '21 at 23:31
  • Yes, this was my first suggestion but I was told it wasn't possible because of technical issues.
    – Mar
    Jan 22 '21 at 12:27
  • @Mar If a whole conversion isn't possible, maybe they could at least make copy & paste of multiple cells possible? E.g. user copies cells A1-A5 (5 cells), so when he pastes it in the modal, it just drops the content from each column into the next available textfield, starting from where the cursor was placed before. I'm sure it's not that hard and would make the user's life so much easier.
    – Big_Chair
    Jan 24 '21 at 15:13
  • If you can't upload a file, maybe you can copy&paste the whole csv as a string.
    – Adriano
    Jan 25 '21 at 5:40

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