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Re: Looking for software design Guidance

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  • Jeff Patton
    ... Grr.. that s tough. I don t know of any. I do like Tidwell s Designing Interfaces for naming and demonstrating common interface design ideas, and common
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 15, 2007
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      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "he_is_dave" <he_is_dave@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Hello, my position has recently expanded and I find myself responsible
      > for a software package that is powerful but is not considered user
      > friendly by the standards of our industry.
      ...
      > presenting features and configurations to the user. I think the best
      > thing would be to look at some other intricate software which is
      > considered usable, any suggestions?
      >

      Grr.. that's tough. I don't know of any.

      I do like Tidwell's Designing Interfaces for naming and demonstrating
      common interface design ideas, and common user interaction patterns.
      It's worth adding to your shelf.

      If it were me, I'd go back to my typical UCD stack. Who are the
      users, why do they use the software? What are their goals when using
      it? I'd build a simple user model capturing that. I'd build a couple
      simple task models to identify both workflow, and task affinity. From
      task afinity, I'd have some idea of what belongs together on the
      screen. I could compare that with what really is together on the
      screen... and go from there. That's a one paragraph substitution for
      a couple hundred pages of something like Constantine & Lockwood's
      Usage Centered Design, or some other UCD book. It may not be much use
      without the techniques under your belt, or someone to work with you
      that is experienced that can help out.

      Oh - and your suggestion of finding software that accomplishes similar
      task for similar users and reviewing it is a good one. I steal what
      works whenever possible.

      -Jeff
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