Usability Example

By: CYPMuru

I hope everyone knows the word usability which is nothing but simplicity and easy-of use.

All of us want a better and quick solution for anything we do everyday...

May be it sounds simple... but the actual implementation is bit critical. Moreover the simplicity of life differs person to person.

Let me give you an example here.

Recently, I had a small argument but, I would call it as healthy argument & brainstorming session with the developer (Software developer -those who gets pressures from all the other team members- especially from QA).

The scenario is:

It was a user management flow where in the admin user creates a New User and assigns rules & display privileges to that new user.

It is a wizard based flow contains:

Step-1: Create new user,

Step-2: Assign rules

Step-3: Pick-up the display items

Step-4: Submit/Save

The Problem is:

Current flow:

:- Irrespective of rule(s) assigned > all the display items shown & allowed to select > selected items validate on submit > if allowed for the rule the SAVE else show error message

Discussion:

Usability: (in Step-2) as soon as the new user gets the rule (s) > filter the display items (in step-3) based on rule(s)

Development: There is no problem in current flow; what if, the user selected wrong rule(s) - so show all the option and notify on submit?

Usability: Good point! At least we addressed the user error; still the options are

a)Show the summary of all the user action from step-1 to step-3 (on right side column)

b)In step-3: show all display items but disable the items that are NOT applicable to the rule that are selected in previous step!

Development: Still Not convinced, because it is an additional effort!

Day to Day life example :

Real life scenario:

Task:

Person Mr. X works in building-A and floor-3, he wants to meet person in building-C and floor-5;

Flow:

Step1: Mr. X -should get the 'Access card' to enter into floor-5 (ONLY for this floor-5) @ building-C

Step2: Mr. X should verify the card before he moves to building C.

Catch the problem:

a) As soon as he enters into building C - Validate and Notify

b)Allow him to go into building C > while entering lift to floor-5 - Validate and Notify

c)Allow into building C> allow into floor-5 > while entering floor-5 door- Validate and Notify

Which is the less exercise (less irritating actions) for Mr. X > obviously the step (a) is a better

Everyone agreed on the same, then co-relate the same with our user management wizard!

Yes, we got the solution...

Conclusion:

I remember ...

It is important to realize that usability is not a single, one-dimensional property of a user interface. Usability has multiple components and is traditionally associated with these five usability attributes: learnability, efficiency, memorability, errors, satisfaction. - Jakob Nielsen, Usability Engineering.

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