We have an issue where on our system our client needs to select large numbers of users from a list to add to a group on a regular basis. Currently it's a very bad experience for this use case as they have to search for a user, select them and then search the second user and so forth. They need to select up to 800 different users manually which is very time consuming. They are using the search bar to find users each time.

Ideally they want to search and select all the users they want by using an external csv list they get each time. They mentioned maybe just pasting a comma separated list of emails into the search bar that will select the 800 different users that are comma separated.

I don't like this solution and was wondering if anyone has a solution for this that they know of? I was wondering if the search bar can have a button for "search with csv" that would then give the option for the user to upload a file and when the hit search it would search our system for all results in that file and list the results, possible even allowing them to pre-select all results and highlight any csv items that aren't currently in the system.

Any help would be appreciated

  • 1
    You're clouding your issue here by trying to solve technically (pasting csv of emails into a search) before you've defined your problem of user needs. 1. Where does your client get the list of users from? Is it an email supplied cvs? 2. What info is needed to enter into your system to identify a user? First, last, email, etc. 3. Do all these users exist in your database prior to be added to a group? 4. What does add to a group actually mean? Tag the user record, copy to a separate db?
    – It's Dylan
    Commented Apr 8 at 16:35
  • 2
    Users should be able to upload a csv file. That's the easiest and least effort for users. Have the application do as much of the work as possible.
    – moot
    Commented Apr 9 at 5:12
  • Agree with @moot - the user intention is to email everyone in the CSV file, it doesn't seem like having them be a subset of the existing system is important.
    – Izquierdo
    Commented Apr 10 at 23:03

1 Answer 1


Turning an external data list in csv format into a data table should be a straight forward function, and there are already many applications where this is a standard feature. If you don't have this in your application, I would make this a priority.

Regardless of how the underlying data is stored (or imported into your system), you should be able to present a table view that is best for supporting these types of operations.

Many of the common data processing and presentation software such as PowerBI or Tableau has some step where imported data is 'cleaned up' by selecting or removing unwanted data, checking for duplicates, etc, and then you merge it with the existing data.

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