Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seriously. NOT Helpful.

People: enterprise systems need as much usability and user-centered design work as custom systems. Case in point: an ordering system in use in a large corporate environment. It is so difficult to use without training, that seeing Help is a relief. Unfortunately, there are two Help links:

Selecting the first Help link pops up a window full of technical system-level help topics. Not what the end user wants. Selecting the lower Help link pops up the following message:

Why did someone even bother to leave those links intact? They do not contain valuable information for the majority of our users, and introduce frustration in an already difficult system.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Easy fix

If you have an action button by an entry, there should be no need to select that entry. Here's an example. I selected "Register" next to one of the items. A message popped up as shown. (A further issue with this interface is that the checkboxes are in the header and don't look as much like list items - could be confused for a graphic element.)

My assumption is that they wanted to keep the Register button close to the items, rather than scrolling down the page, but it backfired a bit.