One of the ways Catylist gathered commercial real estate data was through crowdsourcing. Users often submitted changes to properties through a small form, which was then processed by our research team.
At first, users could only submit edits for a small number of data fields. But the decision was made to allow them to edit any of the 100+ fields that a property could have. This was a common request from users and made sense from a business standpoint because it allowed us to gather more data (always a good thing).
I was assigned to design the page where users could edit all these fields.
Designing any form can get complicated, but designing a form with 100+ fields all on the same page is quite a task.
So I built a prototype with several ideas and showed it to some users and our support staff (since they were talking to users on a consistent basis). One thing I learned from this is that users sometimes didn't understand what some fields were referring to. So I added a notation that popped up in the sidebar when the user clicked on a field (see below).
Users were having a hard time navigating the giant form. So I designed a couple of features that made the giant page more palatable and gave the user methods to quickly find specific fields.
Finally, to ensure users understood these features, I put together a quick onboarding tour that pointed out new pieces of the UI.
After launch, the new page was very well received. We received a lot of praise specifically for the design of the page. And the support team received very few requests about how to use it — a UX win!
As a company, our data significantly increased and improved.
I learned a lot about how to build usable forms, and that your support team can be a big resource as a designer.