I am working on a software project that is intended to replace the data entry done in Excel spreadsheets. We have a grid control that displays the data but it is edited in a form with tabs for different sections (over 60 columns in the spreadsheet).

The users are complaining that it takes them longer with the tabbed form to enter the data that simply typing in a spreadsheet and moving to the next cell. So now I am wondering if there was an error in our UI design.

Are there any good books or other resources which describe the most efficient UI for data entry?

closed as off topic by ChrisF Aug 24 '11 at 7:57

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This sounds as if they have to enter large amounts of data. In this case, having tabs and being forced to use the mouse several times for entering a single record may in fact be a bad idea.

Either change it back to a single table or, if this is possible, you could add keyboard shortcuts, that would allow your users to change between tabs as fast as they where able with the single table, like having ctrl-1, ctrl-2 and so on or maybe alt-tab or ctrl-tab. Have a look at FireFox with multiple tabs open, you can switch between them with ctrl-tab.

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