• Decrease the cognitive load
• Fit the product to non technical users
• Give a fresh look without making the current users pay a high effort to learn it
• Make the system language-flexible (LTR/RTL)
• Design a complex system that isn’t complicated to use
• Discover and implement new features
• Maintain the current flow but improve the experience
Most of the current users are Security Managers that work in the Healthcare and Finance industries. Most of them are non technical users, after long-term military service. Their previous experience with similar systems is often with ancient-looking interfaces and conservative design.
User Interview Preparations –
Some of the preparation for meetings with clients involved deciding on the best questions to ask. I choose to ask questions only about the information I decide is necessary, and only open-ended questions – in order to receive a full explanation. Avoiding questions with hidden bias is also important.
Here are some of the questions I asked:
• What is the hardest part of using this product?
• Was there anything missing from this product that you expected?
• What are you trying to achieve while using this product?
• How have you accomplished this before using the product?
Usability tests helped figure out solutions for UX challenges that surfaced during the process. Here are some of the insights:
Gestures are often unintuitive
Sometimes gestures that would seem natural and intuitive to a technical user don’t automatically come to mind for non technical users. During usability tests for an editing functionality for the widget layout on the app dashboard, I discovered that a lot of the intended users aren’t familiar with a Drag & Drop interface. The solution I chose was to keep the interface, but also add swap buttons between widgets.
Another instance of this gap is clicking outside of a modal box to close it. This may seem instinctual to most users – being used to this functionality from mobile devices, but for some, this gesture isn’t well known and they will just be looking for a close button.
Icons Are Not Enough
Showing a clear set of icons to a control group and asking the meaning of each one surprised me a little. Icons that seemed very clear to me weren’t so clear to them. I decided to reduce the number of buttons with no verbal explanation to make their life easier, in addition to adding a tooltip to those without copy.
Multi-Page vs Single-Page
While creating the ‘Generate Report’ Page I considered two options. On the one hand is a multi-page format, which splits up a complex process into multiple smaller pieces. Findings have shown that multi-page patterns help reduce cognitive load, and also make error handling and form validation easier. On the other hand, you can find a single-page format which shows all the options and filters together. This format makes it clear how much effort needs to be expended to get the job done.
Looking for answers, I tested both ways. I found that the users can benefit more from the multi-page option, which simplifies the process, and adds a sense of progression.