Re: Looking for software design Guidance
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "he_is_dave" <he_is_dave@...>
> 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 bestGrr.. that's tough. I don't know of any.
> thing would be to look at some other intricate software which is
> considered usable, any suggestions?
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.