Think of the User


I’ve jut spent the day in the programming labs looking at first year work. When I go to bed I will not be counting sheep, but Sweepy Cleaner games and Bank applications.

Some of the work was astonishingly good. One thing I did notice though was quite often the applications (I’m thinking mainly bank here) were a bit hard to use. Sometimes to achieve an action you had to move to a menu, type something in, press a button, click a confirm dialog and then click another dialog to acknowledge a message that you’d done the task. I often made the point that if there were 1,000 bank accounts to be entered these actions would add up pretty quickly and lead to a bunch of very unhappy users.

If you are making anything with a user interface you must show it to some users. Saying “I did it this way because I thought it would work the best” is not really a recipe for success. Getting someone to use it, or using it yourself for a few transactions will quickly bring home whether or not an application is easy to use.