How Redesigning One Feature Helped Us Realize We Needed Another

While addressing customer feedback for our imports feature, we realized the same interface could be used to power a new feature — mass manual entry.

We were about to take our new CSV import feature out of beta when we realized it needed to be redesigned. As we were reviewing the new design, it hit us: this could be used for manually adding entries to save our users a ton of time.

When someone wants to add multiple entries, our newest feature will save them time (for example, we’ve reduced the time it takes to add 20 entries from about 10 minutes to about two minutes).

The New Interface

Here’s a sneak peek at the new interface coming soon:

Redesigned imports and mass entry interface

We started to redesign the imports page this way because of the feedback we have gotten since we launched the upgrade a couple months ago. We never got any direct feedback that the current interface was hard to use. It was quite the opposite – people seemed to enjoy adding their entries.

So much so, in fact, that we started getting reports that users were getting errors caused by uploading too many entries for our system to handle. We can currently take about 100 entries in a single CSV import before it times out, but we have users who want to upload anywhere from 500 to 5,000 entries at once (we’re fixing this with our next release, by the way).

Focused On One Use Case, Not Seeing The Obvious

So, we started working on giving people the ability to upload more entries. In the process, we decided we should compress the interface (as you can see above) so users wouldn’t have to scroll forever to review all of their entries. Here’s the current version, where we take up too much vertical space:

Current imports in beta as of January 2015

We didn’t see the problem originally because we were thinking of this page as a visual confirmation page, and we could only see a couple entries per page. It never occurred to us that this page could be used to power through a ton of manual entries quickly.

So, we chose to stay consistent with the current Add Entry interface. However, when users started trying to upload a large number of entries simultaneously, we realized the problem it caused.

Customer Feedback Doesn’t Give You the Answers, But It Does Identify Problems

It’s interesting how sometimes, you can get a blinding glimpse of the obvious after staring at the same problem for months. It definitely pays to listen to customer feedback, but it took a real focus on improving user experience to realize what the solution to the problem would look like.

Coming Soon

We’re almost done with the new uploads interface. Expect it to be live in the next few weeks.