In working to revamp the Import feature of PlaybookIQ, its becoming increasingly clear there is still a gap between the developer and the ordinary computer user. For the technical partner, its easy to throw terms such as CSV, parsing, and “plain text” around (even in a single sentence!). As the non-technical partner, it feels like a research project trying to keep up.
So in comes the user friendly application. But what is user friendly to one is not to the next. So how do we serve both? How do you avoid insulting the more technical users while not leaving the not-so-technical behind?
We’ve decided with our import feature, which has admittedly caused the most user errors in our system, to begin the process with a basic “1-2-3” step process without much upfront instruction. Import should really be a simple function, and for the user who is familiar with imports and CSV files, this approach should work well. However, alongside the easy 1-2-3 process, we’re linking to more in-depth instructions and information for those who are unfamiliar with imports and CSV files and need additional help. We’re providing this further information in easy-to-understand verbage and concepts, in an attempt to not only help our users use our system, but also to educate them. Oftentimes, this is by providing links to the help section of the current systems they are importing from, systems that have already discovered the best way to explain converting data from their system to a CSV file.
Our goal is to make importing contacts easier than ever. However, even for the technical savvy, errors with CSV files that cause an import to bomb out. A missing comma, missing quote, too many quotes – can cause the whole file to fail. In this case, we’ve decided that more eyes are better, and after our users have examined their file and tried again, we’ll invite the user to send the file to us and try to help resolve the problem.
Our more user-friendly Import feature will launch this week.