I have a web app that will keep track of a list of commercial properties. There will be a list view that lists properties in a searchable table. Clicking on a particular property will take you to the detailed view of that property. There are about 100 fields in total that describe a property. Here is what I'm think as far as displaying all the fields:

  1. View form will display the data only - it will not be editable. There will only be a field description followed by the data - no rectangles around the data.
  2. Fields are grouped by category - Loan Information, Property Description, etc.
  3. Each category will have a few main fields that are visible by default. If the user wants to see the full set of data for that category, they can click on a 'more' link, which will expand the page to display the rest of the fields
  4. At the bottom of the page, I was planning to have an "edit" button that would show a set of tabs when pressed. Each tab would contain editable fields in a particular category.

This is for a real estate broker. They want to keep track of things like loan amount, loan begin date, term, cap rate, etc. the goal of the app is to be the CRM tool that runs their business.

Is this a good approach? I'd like to take your suggestions, and then post a mockup to get more feedback.


After reading through all your comments, here is what I came up with. Please mostly ignore everything except the middle large rectangle. The rest of it is the template that I bought. I am still trying to decide what to do with the boxes that say "Files, "123 Main St" and the blank box to the right of that. I am not cool enough (yet) to make major changes to the template... Also note that I'm not sure how to get basalmiq to show things as bold, etc. In the actual version, there will be some sort of visual cue that shows that each category is a separate category.

The idea for this first slide is that the left column would contain summary information about the property broken down by category (location, Financials, etc). Each section would have a more... and edit link (button???). Clicking more... would bring up the complete set of fields for that category and display them under the picture.

[removed image - apparently, new users aren't allowed to post pictures. I will upload them to my picasaweb account. There, you'll be able to peruse my family photos as well, if you wish :-/]

this second slide is what would come up if the edit link was clicked.

[removed image]

Here is a link to the two slides: https://plus.google.com/photos/114385331600884705333/albums/5778911120580372193?authkey=CPSBgvy3v-77ngE

  • 100 fields to describe a property?? What is the goal of this site? With "field", do you mean a headline and a text of multiple lines or is one field only 1 line?
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 16:53
  • This is for a real estate broker. They want to keep track of things like loan amount, loan begin date, term, cap rate, etc. the goal of the app is to be the CRM tool that runs their business.
    – user17228
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 17:42

3 Answers 3


I would recommend determining the key fields which would have to visible at all times keep this in a separate section. The remaining fields can be shown using an accordion which may be viewed as the user needs to. This would allow the user to jump to any section at any time and expand and collapse the content and edit it as he needs by providing him the feature to edit it at the accordion section level

enter image description here

I do like your idea of showing some default or critical fields for each section and allowing the user to expand if he needs to which can be included in the accordion design


Here are couple of ideas, some of which you may have already. I would probably place Edit at the top since if it is at the bottom of the page and there are a lot of fields, it will be below the fold (users may not see it) and even if the users know it is there they will have to scroll. I think it is a good idea to display read only view with data if the main goal is just consuming information. Also you may want to see if having a single Edit for everything is better than for each section. If users edit a lot it might get annoying to click edit for each section.

enter image description here

  • hey thanks...this gave me some ideas. I'm going to post a mockup of my new plan in the original question.
    – Jon Lehman
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 23:47

Field display for reading need not be the same as field display for modification.

For example, when entering details for an address, you'd need a whole heap of fields to capture (potentially) Apartment, Floor, Building Name, Street number, Street Name, Suburb, City, County, State, Country and Postal Code.

But, not all addresses need all those fields, so you can get away with displaying just what's used when someone is reading the page.

You can go further with this - some combinations of fields may be collapsible into a paragraph of narrative, or at least a couple of lines.

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