Following matrix of prices up to a given weight per country is given:

enter image description here

The user is able to edit individual prices. Depending on the amount of countries and weights the matrix can get quite big, making it a pain to use. The user has to scroll around vertically and horizontally to make changes.

Our users avoid using the matrix. Instead they export the matrix as csv, make changes in excel and import it back in our tool.

How can the usability be improved? Are there alternatives to the matrix?

My first Idea was to display an empty matrix and let the user choose specific countries, thus reducing the amount of fields displayed at the same time. Another idea was to get rid of the matrix completely and focus on a nice import/export experience.

  • Both of your ideas seem solid. The question is, will they prefer a filter or a better export/import flow? That is something you can only find out by doing some user research.
    – jazZRo
    Sep 26, 2022 at 15:47
  • Seconding research. I'd watch users edit their CSV files and see what they're editing. Are they making a few changes all over the place? Editing several prices for one product? Whether you need a matrix or not depends on how "overall" their updates are.
    – Izquierdo
    Sep 26, 2022 at 20:47
  • You're unlikely to improve on the editing experience of Excel when it comes to tabular content, especially for users already familiar with Excel. It can do column-level operations, disconnected selections, find/replace, cut/paste of blocks of data, movement of elements, resizing and hiding of columns, etc. While it's valuable to permit editing in place, I'd consider focusing your energy on making it as easy as possible to hand off to Excel and bring the changes back again.
    – Kit Grose
    Sep 27, 2022 at 8:26

2 Answers 2


Given that your users opt more readily for the more involved process of exporting/editing/importing the data, this may be indicative of some distrust of your form experience. It would help to be able to evaluate a live version of it, but here are some observations that may help you get started with an update.

Here's some things that stand out to me:

  1. The currency symbol is placed inside of the input control. At first glance, it's unclear whether I'll be able (or maybe even have to) edit this or preserve it during editing. This creates cognitive friction before your user has even started. Consider placing the currency symbol outside of the input. Also, does a user really need to be reminded this much of the currency they're entering prices in? If not, leave it out of the control and label altogether.
  2. There are some repeating values. Even in Excel, for the average user at least, this will require a lot of copy-pasting. Does your form allow for easy copy-pasting as well? Do you handle cell validation well? Again, the currency symbol implicitly implies that this may be more complicated than expected.
  3. The size of the matrix seems daunting. There's so many things to edit, in a form that they're probably not going to see very often. For a lot of users, this will likely be a form they're going to use once or twice. As users generally have uneven experiences using web forms, the safer option will be to use a familiar editing environment. This feeling will be emphasized by the sheer number of inputs.
  4. This is pure speculation, but the table seems to list prices for S&H per country. Do most of your users really ship to all of these countries? If not, consider allowing them to specify the target countries first.

Some things that may lend to a better editing experience:

  • Implement a draft/auto-save feature.
  • Provide clean inputs. Place the input hints (KG, €) outside of the value control.
  • Auto-correct soft syntax fails, such as unintended whitespace. Also, if these values never go above a value of 999, you might auto-correct invalid decimal points (some users will use a dot instead of a comma).
  • Only have them enter what they actually need to.

As a final thought, where do your users get these numbers from? Are they specific to each of them?

Hope this helps. I'd be interested to know what you decided on.


The best way would probably be to get the thoughts from your actual users.

Maybe run some usability tests, see what is working on the page and what isn't work.

It would also be helpful to see what they actually do day to day this way you can observe why it is easier for them to import rather than use the matrix.

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