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Asking for suggestions for UI "cleanup" project name - Longish

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  • eklay
    Hi, Background: I am a Technical Writer helping our User Experience specialist at a healthcare software company. The company is moving from start-up types of
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 12, 2007
      Hi,

      Background:
      I am a Technical Writer helping our User Experience specialist at a
      healthcare software company. The company is moving from start-up
      types of methods to an adaptation of agile. Our core group of
      developers are located in our office in Hyderabad. Our company
      stresses that we do not off-shore, but we have offices in three
      countries (USA, Canada, and India). We have times when groups visit
      each office to work on special projects and develop working
      relationships. We use Skype, video conferencing, and VNC a lot.

      Our core product automates the all of the processes for small
      doctor's offices (scheduling, billing, clinical note, demographics,
      prescribing and dispensing medications, practice management). It was
      launched last January and has since won awards at some very nice
      competitions.

      During the initial launch the push, of course, was to get
      functionality in place. Since then we have had a contest to spot
      inconsistencies and also baselined a core group of user tasks. We
      also have a list of UI improvements that need to be made. We all
      have groaned and winced at different parts of the interface.

      Our User Experience specialist has created a UI library and it is
      now available on our intranet.

      Core Post:
      We finally have the resources and backing to do a UI clean-up
      project and train our team on good UI practices. Our constraint is
      that due to the culture in India, the perception is that the UI is
      fine as it is. According to those who have visited, the signage and
      other English-written items are similar to our interface: having
      inconsistent spellings, wording, and wildly varying use of capitial
      letters.

      In order to start with a positive note, I would like to have a fun
      name for the project. Suggestions anyone?

      PS:

      Thanks for all of the posts about using agile methods and the issues
      with working with remote teams. I hope to share our experiences for
      this project with the group. Since the World Usability Day this year
      is focused on healthcare, there should be something we can leverage
      for that also. Today I am very optomistic!!

      Thanks for your support.
      Esther
    • Jeff Patton
      ... Esther, This all sounds pretty good. Delivery and use is the necessary moment of truth when you really learn how well you did. In an Agile context I often
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 20, 2007
        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "eklay" <eklay@...> wrote:
        > Core Post:
        > We finally have the resources and backing to do a UI clean-up
        > project and train our team on good UI practices. Our constraint is
        > that due to the culture in India, the perception is that the UI is
        > fine as it is.

        Esther,

        This all sounds pretty good. Delivery and use is the necessary moment
        of truth when you really learn how well you did.

        In an Agile context I often rant that business value doesn't come from
        just delivering software, but from using the software. And in your
        case selling the software. From your customer's perspective using the
        software.

        Fixing inconsistencies in the UI improves your brand image - your
        company's perceived quality in the eyes of your customers. Some UI
        inconsistencies hurt usability or make it harder for users to learn
        the application. This lowers their business value, and also hurts
        your company's perception of quality. And, those additional features
        improve usability - which improves user's ability to learn,
        understand, and efficiently use the app - thus increasing the value
        they get from it.

        So, for me all this stuff isn't cleaning up - it's enhancing value.

        Yes it is cleanup - but in a way it's clean-up because we all hope we
        get it right the first time - even though we know it to be impossible
        given time constraints and the fact that we're human. So, cleanup is
        sort of a "glass half empty" phrasing. It implies you made mistakes -
        which you did - but you knew you would... so are they really?

        Is somewhere in that rant a few clues to a more "glass half full"
        project name - along with a justification for why you're doing it.
        It's not because it bugs the UI people.

        I'd also look into measuring success. Try doing a survey of customer
        satisfaction before the new release, and after. Show satisfaction
        improvement. Try measuring task completion times on critical tasks
        before the changes and after. Show improvement there. All that takes
        a while - and in practice I seldom do stuff like that - but I /wished/
        I did. ;-)

        thanks for posting.

        -Jeff
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