Discussion: Improving the presentation of importing results

I was asked by @basiskarten to implement some changes to how importing results are presented.

I thought it’s wise to open a thread to discuss the changes with @dae and users before investing a lot of time into this.

Here’s a rough Figma sketch of the design I have in mind:

(The blue text in the table indicates truncated contents shown in a separate view when the text is clicked)


Except for the third icon I like this proposal.

I presume you’re thinking of doing this as a Svelte screen, and I can see how it could be useful.

Some thoughts:

  • The middle two icons could be clearer
  • Hover icons that explain why dupes/cards were excluded might be useful.
  • When you say “shown in a separate view”, do you mean showing them in the browse screen, like we do in the filtered deck screen?
  • What does “show imported decks” do?

If someone has suggestions for better icons/emoji that’d be helpful. I just used those as placeholders.


We can’t show all of them in the browse screen as skipped contents won’t be there, so I was thinking of showing them in another dialog. An alternative option might be to just show a tooltip.

@basiskarten suggested highlighting the added/affected decks in the main screen. What do you think about this?

I agree, the emojis could be improved.

  • Maybe the first one should be :new: instead.
  • The second one could also be one of those: :repeat::arrows_counterclockwise:
  • The third one could be :heavy_check_mark: or :ballot_box_with_check: to make sure the user understands that this is not something bad. Might seem obvious to us, but the current importing message is confusing to quite a few users in my experience.

Of course we could also create new icons instead of using emojis.

The behavior of the “Show imported decks” button could be a little tricky. My idea was that it highlights all newly created decks in the main menu that were created because of the import that just happened. For example if the user has the following deck in his collection:
A > 1 > a > aa
And imports:
A > 1 > a > bb
=> Highlight only “bb”

I hadn’t thought about what should happen when cards were only updated for example.

I would also add a second button that simply says “OK” which closes the dialog.

Other points:

  • We could hyperlink the words “notes” and “cards” so people have an easier time figuring out the difference. I get asked regularly about that, even though I highlight the difference in a few places. Ideally the link would also be translateable so that it depends on the language the user has selected.
  • Very minor issue but in the table first row, second cell should be clickable (= blue) instead of third row, second cell, since those were skipped.
  • I guess notes that were skipped can’t be shown, so we could lose that “(show)”-link.
  • Only show the summary sentence if it applies to at least one note. I.e. never show “0 new cards were imported.”

:stop_sign: Edit (2023-06-24): Sorry, I quoted the wrong text below before. Now corrected:

My idea was that they would be shown in the note/card browser (via searching for “nid:…”). I would only mentioned the skipped notes in the table of the import screen and simply not make them clickable.

It may make sense to reuse the table from the csv import dialog, which splits note fields into separate columns. Then both dialogs would benefit from any improvements.
Also, I would find a list of imported notetypes useful as well.

Hi @Rumo,

I would argue against splitting fields into individual columns as this could lead to a big expansion of the table depending on how many fields a note has. I think it would be good if the import dialog table basically acted like the card/note-browser with its “sort field”.

Maybe the dialog could mention the note type of a note in a third column field. I would advise against mentioning them in another section individually as I’m pretty sure many users would be confused by yet another concept as they already struggle with the difference between notes and cards.

In any case I think the table should only be shown when the user actually wants to see the details. Most people just want one thing from the import dialog: To know that the deck they wanted to import was actually successfully incorporated into their collection (without creating duplicates, which is also a fear some people have).

Even if there’s only a single column, the content would need to be trimmed at some point.
Only showing the sort field is also a valid approach. However, many notetypes use that for an ID or ordinal that doesn’t help much with identifying notes by eye.

It comes down to the usual compromise of not overwhelming new users on the one hand, and giving advanced users the info they need on the other hand. I think in certain cases it’s crucial to know whether a notetype has been updated or copied.

For the cards that were actually imported/updated, being able to see them in the browse screen is probably the nicest experience, as the user can directly manipulate them, and see them as they normally do. The user can also see what deck they’re in there, which saves having to implement a separate “highlight decks” feature. I’m not too keen on the latter - the decks page is due for an update soon, and it adds a bunch of extra complexity (having to expand parents to show hidden children, how to deal with off-screen decks, etc).

For skipped/unimportable, they could probably be shown as a disclosure on the page. We might not want to list them all; if there are tens of thousands of records the page will take a while to render.

If we wanted to provide an at-a-glance overview of the added/updated decks/notetypes, I guess they could be listed out on that page as well, maybe behind a disclosure arrow.

You’re right. Concatenating the fields like Abdo did in the Mockup seems to me the best option in that case. I forgot the sort field doesn’t do that.

It’s definitely a tradeoff like you mentioned. If we find a hidden spot at the end that doesn’t confuse more users than it helps I wouldn’t be opposed to it. Btw, does the current import dialog tell the user about any changes to their note types?

This sounds convincing. Let’s drop that then.

PR sent:

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