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I am helping design an application that serves as an end-to-end solution for our clients, meaning that there are many facets of it. We import a lot of different types of information, think purchase orders, data from other software, invoicing, etc. Our import screen design so far is near identical for each type of data.

Is it better to have one import screen to rule them all, requiring the user to tell us what type of data they are going to import with a combo-box or some other input and have 1 menu option, or have several menu options to launch that import screen? One offers less steps, but requires the user to know where to go in the menu for various imports.

I tried searching before asking. Thank you for your time.

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    Do you have a design or mock-up of the two different options you're laying out here? – elemjay19 Apr 28 '14 at 20:28
  • Yes, mock-ups of your proposed designs would help greatly. If you load them up to some image sharing website and provide the links, then someone here with enough reputation will add them to your post for you. – Marjan Venema Apr 29 '14 at 13:05
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ASSUMPTION: I'd say it would depend on the experience level of your target user with similar programs and their overall capability with technology. It sounds like this is a software that most people wouldn't just stumble upon and try to use and seems to imply they should have some sort of base knowledge.

IF THE ABOVE ASSUMPTION IS TRUE: then having one import screen would allow the largest degree of user freedom.

  • Thanks for your input, and I tend to agree with your answer. Our users are definitely trained. We have an on-boarding team when we bring on new businesses. – Keyboardg May 16 '14 at 20:16

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