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

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!

Importing Contacts

You can import contacts using one of the supported formats below:

  • CSV (Comma Separated Value)

Files should have at least4 Columns(First, Last, Phone, Company), andno header row(every row should be a contact).

Optionally, you can include a fifth column to indicate what group you'd like to add the contact to. Groups that are not already created will be created during the import process.


17 Replies

Michael Brill
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Michael Brill Entrepreneur
Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products
screen shot?
Sergiy Kuzmenko
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Sergiy Kuzmenko Entrepreneur
Senior web developer
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.
Hermann Chong
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Hermann Chong Entrepreneur
Senior Software Engineer at Tableau Software
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!"
Jake Carlson
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Jake Carlson Entrepreneur • Advisor
Software Development Manager at Oracle
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.
Mark Michuda
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Mark Michuda Entrepreneur • Advisor
Auto Dialer Call Center CallOnTheGo.com 325.200.0007 Mark@CallOnTheGo.com Founder/CEO
Sorry had an issue attaching the screenshot. Hopefully the image below shows up.

Mark Michuda
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Mark Michuda Entrepreneur • Advisor
Auto Dialer Call Center CallOnTheGo.com 325.200.0007 Mark@CallOnTheGo.com Founder/CEO
Mark Michuda
0
0
Mark Michuda Entrepreneur • Advisor
Auto Dialer Call Center CallOnTheGo.com 325.200.0007 Mark@CallOnTheGo.com Founder/CEO
Kate Hiscox
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Kate Hiscox Entrepreneur • Advisor
Boss at Venzee
Thanks Mark!
Clynton Caines
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Clynton Caines Entrepreneur
SharePoint Developer at Discover Technologies
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
Khamir Bhatia
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Khamir Bhatia Entrepreneur
Founder & Chief... at trotez
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.
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