User Experience Design · Design

What is the best UI/UX you have ever seen when it comes to a contact import function?

Mark Michuda

April 6th, 2014

Our current import feature is confusing lots of users.  This is always the obstacle.  Attached is a a screenshot of our directions for the end user.  Please help!


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Sergiy Kuzmenko

April 6th, 2014

I usually have my CSV imports like this:
  • Header row must be present
  • Columns can be in any order
  • Header names are not case sensitive
  • Header names allow spelling variations (phone, telephone, phone # are all equally good)
  • Unknown headers are ignored
In addition to this I provide a downloadable template file. Ideally you should be able to parse Excel (because for some users exporting to CSV is a significant mental leap).

Not sure if it's the best user experience but it's been working for me sufficiently well.

I've also seen apps asking you to map columns form uploaded file into your fields. I personally like this approach less because it requires manual interaction after upload took place.

Hope this helps.

Clynton Caines SharePoint Developer at Discover Technologies

April 6th, 2014

Hi,

You should always accept the group - if it's empty, save to a default group (or none). Also, always accept a header - if no phone number was parsed, then it's the header... and glean the true column order from that.

Other great points already mentioned: accept .xls and .zip if possible; provide a downloadable sample/template; others as mentioned.

Computers should make things simple and easy for users - think candy store instead of dentist :-)
Good luck

Jake Carlson Software Development Manager at Oracle

April 6th, 2014

For starters, I think you should offer other import mechanisms other than CSV (e.g., vCard and/or direct import from popular contact software exported formats). Secondly you can make the code that parses the CSVs more flexible. I'd allow headers in the CSV file and maybe even allow any ordering of columns so long as the headers can be parsed. Third, users should probably be able to enter contacts one by one if that isn't already an option.

Hermann Chong Senior Software Engineer at Tableau Software

April 6th, 2014

I find that visuals help. 

"Here is an example of a file without groups"
"Here is one with groups"

Or, you can have an addendum saying, "Don't know how to make a CSV file? Try our _Add Contacts_ page!" 

Paul Travis Multifaceted Online Executor: Product Marketing to Program Mgmt. to Business Development

April 6th, 2014

Folks, I'm wondering if this is a use case for a community (or curated content site)...

Best practices/UIUX examples for different types of user actions

(No, I don't have the spare bandwidth to go do it -- just wondering if it resonated with others :)

Khamir Bhatia

April 6th, 2014

mark, if it's ok with you can provide the ability to add comments on the your google doc with the screenshot? it's just easier to get context when getting/providing feedback. atleast that's how i've been working with some of my designers when operating remotely.

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

April 6th, 2014

screen shot?

Mark Michuda

April 6th, 2014

Sorry had an issue attaching the screenshot.  Hopefully the image below shows up.

edit?usp=sharing

Khamir Bhatia

April 6th, 2014

excuse the grammar/typos 

Mark Michuda

April 6th, 2014

Khamir - People can make comments on the Google doc now.

Paul - 
I see what you're saying.  There are probably dozens of other very similar scenarios startups encounter in the UI/UX side.  There must be a best practice for specific markets.  I was just working on a single sign on project as well.  It seems in the B2C world social SSO is great!  But, in the B2B world there are other solutions that fit better like SAML(or so I've heard).