Data Importer

Complex data importing, simplified.

The Project

Frontline Education provides K-12 school districts with a full range of Human Capital Management and Employee Growth Solutions.

Because of the breadth of products used, school districts need to import data from other solutions regularly. We architected a solution that allowed them to do this across all Frontline products.

Landing page of the wizard to import data

My Role

I took on the roles of Product Vision, Research, and UI & UX on this project. As primary designer on this project, I worked closely with the Product Manager and Tech Leads to design and build the solution as well as coordinated with all other internal teams who were planning on integrating with the importer.

The Process

We started with a very general idea of what problems we needed to solve for districts: importing data. After user research and iteration, this eventually boiled down to 4 main goals.

  1. Get data from other systems into Frontline products.
  2. Provide a relatively painless way to format the data.
  3. Give users clear feedback of what went wrong on an import.
  4. Allow imports to happen on a schedule.

Working to accomplish that list of goals, we explored all the potential solutions from push-button integrations (very focused) to full public APIs (very complex to implement for many districts). To serve the widest base of users for the first version, we chose simple CSV/XLS file uploads.

Difficulty scale visual used to communicate decisions to stakeholders
Feature visual used to communicate decisions to stakeholders

UI Elements & Screens

This project involved many screens and states I needed to account for. In addition to standard UI patterns, I needed to create a number of entirely new designs.

Custom UI elements created for this project
Scheduling workflow
Column mapping

Recurring SFTP Imports

While manually uploading files is a common use case, districts also expected to be able to set up recurring SFTP uploads that would import on a schedule. We designed the experience to be as simple as possible with callouts and help text built right into the interface.

UI related to recurring imports


This project was successfully taken to production and is currently being used by hundreds of districts to successfully import data.

Eventually, this data importer will be used to import upwards of 10 million rows a day across all the Frontline Education solutions. This allows districts to focus on serving their students by making data importing seamless and less of a hassle.