More excellent discussion is emerging on my thread about enterprise applications and user interaction models. Today I got a comment from Leisa Reichelt and its so good I decided to publish it in full as its own post. Leisa is one of the leading lights in user experience (UX) services in London. Most recently she has been heads down working on the Drupal 7 User Experience Project – here is a detailed view of the Information Architecture.
“In my experience this problem tends to stem from the general principle that for businesses ‘more is more’ and for end users ‘less is more’. Businesses see value in huge requirement lists being met and masses of functionality being provided (in many cases, functionality that is way beyond the needs of the organisation that has acquired it). All of this excess functionality places a huge toll on the user experience for the people who have to use the software day to day.
A user experience practitioner should be able to help the organisation to identify what is the required functionality and the best way for that functionality to be presented in the UI so as to optimise the experience for the end user. However, in many cases, this would require a radically new way of thinking about what value means in these kinds of business transactions.
Sadly, in too many cases, the people who could potentially help make these good decision are either not at the table at all (as you suggested James) or are at the table but so far away from the management that all they can do if fiddle with the UI here and there.
What is really needed is a UX person sufficiently aware of the end user behaviour and sufficiently influential within the business to be able to take a chainsaw to feature bloat and to insist on being able to create interactions that are just as much as they need to be and nothing more.
Then we can take a look at the RIA side of things and use them as they *should* be used, which are *enhancements* to the overall user experience.”
Great stuff Leisa. Thanks! Boiled down, the Drupal 7 UX Principles are
- 1. Make the most frequent tasks easy and less frequent tasks achievable.
2. Design for the 80%
3. Privilege the Content Creator
4. Make the default settings smart
Sounds obvious? Maybe – but it doesn’t sound like enterprise application state of the art…