Archive for 2010/02/10

A kind of ugly system

2010/02/10 3 comments
This Monday, we finally deployed one of my projects. Due to a number of factors, we've delivered a couple of months late, but with better support for our processes. The system we're implementing is a process support system, and we hadn't really understood how much our process differed from the default system in this customizable standard system which we implemented.

The implementation will mean huge benefits to the users, automating a fully manual process and including new functions which means that we can improve ourselves by basing decisions on real statistics and data.

There is just one problem. The system is kind of ugly. Or at least, not very aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. There are no fancy icons, colors or buttons. On the UI level, you just see simple HTML. This is a good thing. We need this system to work from any browser, on any Internet connection so this is a strategic decision from the supplier. A decision which I support. It's not that the user interface is bad. It just don't look 2010. So, I've found that during all the training sessions, I start by explaining why the system does not look better on the surface. Why?

Well, one reason is that users tend to think

Nice icons and colors = advanced functionality

We know that this is of course not true. Too many systems are too much focused on the surface and leave poor quality and faulty business rules. But still, we know what the users first impression is. First impressions are important. Feelings are important and do you think that the user's view of the system will be affected by the surface design, address that so that they can put that behind them. I've almost gotten used to it. But just almost.

Posted via email from forss’s posterous

Categories: Agile