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Streamlining import...
 
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[Solved] Streamlining importing multiple eBird lists

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(@jdhoule01)
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Joined: 4 years ago

I keep eBird lists in the field, and often return from a trip with hundreds of lists to import.  I download many lists at a time, then highlight large number for a mass import to BD.  Currently, each list requires three clicks to import each list:

First BD asks you if you really want to import the list you just told BD you want to Import. By default return say yes, or you can click yes.  

Then BD tells you that it imported some number of species, and this requires a click or return to dismiss.

Then it asks if you want to delete the imported eBird list, which requires a mouse click to say yes or no.

Then it asks if you want to import the next list,etc.

These are further structured so that you cannot just default click in the same place every time.  Some of them work by a default return, but the delete requires a mouse click only, so  repeating  these steps either requires mousing to every button, or switching back and forth from the return key to a mouse and back. 

Here is how I would like to see this changed: 

Once the user has chosen to import many lists, ask them once whether they want to delete imported lists or not.  Have just one Proceed to Next List choice, which is the default for return or click.  For the mouse user (me), it is important that this default is in the same place on the screen for each list.  There should be an escape hatch extra click for the users that do realize they want to abort the imports.  In other words, proceed as if the user really wants to import all the lists they have just chosen to import.  Announce the imports, but don't force the user to click to dismiss each one.  

Some more minor annoyances:

BD always tells me there are no BD Mobile Import Files, requiring a click or return to dismiss.  This is not useful, as I don't use BD Mobile.  Even if you did use it, why not just respond only if there is something to import?

The eBird Import Files found window has a list of .csvs in the default directory with checkboxes, but this is not functional for import. It only allows you to delete the files. If you want to Import, the Import button takes you to a complete different Import/Export window, which is rather confusing, until you notice the Import near the bottom of this complicated box, which then requires you to hit this second Import button, and the actual selection of lists to import only takes place in a Windows Explorer window when you hit the import button.  

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13 Replies
Jeff
Posts: 954
 Jeff
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(@jeff)
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Hi David,

I am going to reply in separate replies to each of the mentioned items.

Posted by: @jdhoule01

BD always tells me there are no BD Mobile Import Files, requiring a click or return to dismiss.  This is not useful, as I don't use BD Mobile.  Even if you did use it, why not just respond only if there is something to import?

This is because you are using the "Check for both eBird and BD Mobile import files" option.

image

I thought about this just now, and it seems appropriate to get the message, which is easily dismissed by pressing Enter on your keyboard. When I use this feature, which I do a lot, I want to know if I have either eBird and/or BD Mobile files waiting to be imported, and letting me know that none were found is important. While not saying anything would leave me wondering. So this functionality seems most appropriate to me for the majority of use cases.

To import eBird files, you should go straight to the File | Import/Export ... window, where the Import button on the "eBird Import Files Found" takes you. More on that in the next reply.

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Jeff
Posts: 954
 Jeff
Admin
(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Posted by: @jdhoule01

The eBird Import Files found window has a list of .csvs in the default directory with checkboxes, but this is not functional for import. It only allows you to delete the files. If you want to Import, the Import button takes you to a complete different Import/Export window, which is rather confusing, until you notice the Import near the bottom of this complicated box, which then requires you to hit this second Import button, and the actual selection of lists to import only takes place in a Windows Explorer window when you hit the import button. 

I agree, this is more than a bit unintuitive. Thanks for pointing this out.

This window, and most eBird import/export functionality has been a long road of evolution with minor changes over years. And we have what we have now, which clearly has left some unintuitive gaps in the logic. This continues to evolve as more use-cases come to my attention; e.g. your current situation after a long multi-national trip.

I have updated this window to be a big larger and provide the missing info on functionality. Here is the new design.

image

Now, Why does the Import button simply take you to another Import window where you have to manually select the files you want to Import?

It didn't use to do this. It use to go ahead and import the selected files without further selection with default import settingsAnd there is the problem, the default import settings. They change often and the user wants the ability to use the complete functionality of the Import dialog. The Tooltip on the Import button does say this and always has.

image

So, you can skip this window altogether and just go straight to the import/export window, Sightings Tab, or use the Import button here to take you there with your last used settings. It does auto-set the "Import Sightings from eBird export file" option, even if your last import was one of the other two options.

image

So, this "eBird Import Files Found" window is a bit of a shortcut in addition to a notice that it found import files.

From the Import/Export window, selecting the Import files is very straightforward using the well-known Windows file selection dialog. Multiple file selection is also allowed; so that you can import exactly which ones and how many you want. And, by default, only eBird import files are show for selection.

image

So, this all seems to work well, with the addition of more info on the "Found" window to explain what happens next. But, I am always open to improving it.

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Jeff
Posts: 954
 Jeff
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(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Now to address the actual import flow.

Posted by: @jdhoule01

Currently, each list requires three clicks to import each list:

First BD asks you if you really want to import the list you just told BD you want to Import. By default return say yes, or you can click yes.  

Then BD tells you that it imported some number of species, and this requires a click or return to dismiss.

Then it asks if you want to delete the imported eBird list, which requires a mouse click to say yes or no.

Then it asks if you want to import the next list,etc.

Yes. This is all true.

UNLESS you click the Quiet Import option on this Import window. 

image

In which case it does what the popup tooltip says. You only get notified upon completion of each file import, which only requires pressing the Enter key on your keyboard to dismiss and move onto the next. Quite efficient. Please note that it auto Delete's the import file after import.

Posted by: @jdhoule01

These are further structured so that you cannot just default click in the same place every time.  Some of them work by a default return, but the delete requires a mouse click only, so  repeating  these steps either requires mousing to every button, or switching back and forth from the return key to a mouse and back. 

Of the 3 prompts (i: do you want to import?, ii: file imported, and iii: delete import file?), the first two are defaulted to 'Yes' and 'Ok' and pressing Enter on the keyboard dismisses them. On the 3rd prompt, 'No' is defaulted, which requires pressing the left-arrow-key (to move to the 'Yes' button) followed by the Enter key. I hate using the Mouse when I don't need to. So I do very much try to make everything in BD keyboard navigable. Which is the case here. ENTER...ENTER...LEFT-ARROW...ENTER for each import file - when not in Quiet Mode.

image

I understand your frustration and annoyance. Hopefully this explanation has helped to get you where you want it to be. I agree with you about process flow and I very much endeavor to improve that anytime we find the possibility to do so. Your new use case here highlights an area where improvement could be made or where options exist that were not intuitive.

You may be the first with such a large eBird Import scenario.

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Jeff
Posts: 954
 Jeff
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(@jeff)
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And finally to your updated process flow suggestions.

Posted by: @jdhoule01

Once the user has chosen to import many lists, ask them once whether they want to delete imported lists or not.  Have just one Proceed to Next List choice, which is the default for return or click.  For the mouse user (me), it is important that this default is in the same place on the screen for each list.  There should be an escape hatch extra click for the users that do realize they want to abort the imports.  In other words, proceed as if the user really wants to import all the lists they have just chosen to import.  Announce the imports, but don't force the user to click to dismiss each one.  

I believe that the Quite Mode option that has been there for a long time gets you most of the way there.

There really is no need to provide an option for not Deleting in the eBird case; as you can always download any eBird checklist again that you may have unintentionally Deleted.

Posted by: @jdhoule01

For the mouse user (me), it is important that this default is in the same place on the screen for each list.

This is one I am having trouble understanding. Not sure what you mean. The default button never changes. But I think you must mean something else. Please expound.

I think this addresses all your questions/concerns. I will go ahead and mark as Solved, but we can continue the discussion on any of this in this post.

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Posts: 59
Topic starter
(@jdhoule01)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago

Thanks Quiet Import is perfect.  It also keeps the default selection in a constant place on the screen for repeated mouse-clicking.  

I did not know what Quiet Import is, so I had never used it.  The name "Quiet Import" is not informative to me.  How about a more informative label, like "Quick Import - imports multiple files with minimal user input"?  There is space for a longer label in that box.  

In addition, how about prompting the user to select Quiet Import (if they have not already done so) when more than 1 or 2 lists are selected?

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Jeff
Posts: 954
 Jeff
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(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Posted by: @jdhoule01

I did not know what Quiet Import is, so I had never used it.  The name "Quiet Import" is not informative to me.  How about a more informative label, like "Quick Import - imports multiple files with minimal user input"?  There is space for a longer label in that box. 

Space is such a premium for controls and labels on every form. So, in alignment with design practices, extra info always available in popup tooltips.

image

The idea is that once you learn what a checkbox or radio button or etc. does, you only need the short label description to remind you. Keeping the form cleaner and saving space. But for reminders or first use, the popup tooltip is the 2nd level of information.

I endeavor to have meaningful popup tooltips on all controls in BD. Of course, there are some controls where that would simply be superfluous; such as a "Close" button having a popup tooltip that says "Close window".

One of my worst pet peeves in UI design is the popup tooltip that is a repeat of the label of the control itself. You know, a "List Column Names" button whose popup tooltip is "List Column Names". GACK! 

image
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Posts: 59
Topic starter
(@jdhoule01)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago

OK, but Quick would be more informative than Quiet.

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Jeff
Posts: 954
 Jeff
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(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

How about both! 😉

image
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Jeff
Posts: 954
 Jeff
Admin
(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

I realize now that I do not save that "Quiet Import" setting. So you will need to set that each time you use this form.

I should remember your last setting of this - right? I can't think of a reason why I should not remember your last setting.

Agree?

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Posts: 59
Topic starter
(@jdhoule01)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago

I agree with wording change and with the idea of a sticky choice on this Quick and Quiet. 

Another thing that would be convenient to make sticky is the Begin and End dates from the last time you use a window.  If I am entering sightings from last Tuesday, I am more likely to want to enter sightings for last Wednesday next, instead of today,

This may be worth a new Wish List Topic, but is it possible to enable assigning an Import to more than one observer at a time? Sometimes my wife and I bird together, and it would be convenient to import to both lists simultaneously.

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Jeff
Posts: 954
 Jeff
Admin
(@jeff)
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Posted by: @jdhoule01

Another thing that would be convenient to make sticky is the Begin and End dates from the last time you use a window.  If I am entering sightings from last Tuesday, I am more likely to want to enter sightings for last Wednesday next, instead of today,

Hmmm. I don't understand what you are asking for here. Please expound.

Posted by: @jdhoule01

This may be worth a new Wish List Topic, but is it possible to enable assigning an Import to more than one observer at a time? Sometimes my wife and I bird together, and it would be convenient to import to both lists simultaneously.

Congrats on having a birding spouse. My wife is a birder also, and don't tell her I said so, but she is better than me. She's also getting better at the camera. She can hear far better than me and recognize the tiniest differences in sounds, and see much better. 

That would be complicated - not impossible. Easier to import, then select those sightings and use the Clone button in the "View & Edit Sightings" window.

image

Let me know if you do this more than 5 times in a month, then it might be worth putting this in. This is the first request for this.

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