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08/29/2006

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matt

ah, no judging by cover, dont you say?
I only had a quick look at it and I dunno what the app is about, but what everyone will recognize is that this app is build for fast access to - indeed - all aspects that shall be managed herein.
and for that approach, it might be a lot more useful than anything else more cascaded.
i now you expect to intuitivly be able to get the functionality and handling of an app at a glace, but beware (here you didnt) - there are several kinds of apps for different usages/target groups. Nearly every kind of secretary person who will ever use such an gruel application accept and requires some days of learning to know how he/she has to do the job. And by then - i mean when you know how to handle - this gui design might be a lot more efficient to do your boring job as a skinnier one could be.
but you may be right, the interface is poor, badly arised within the programs evolution, or part of missing methods to create a better one. and it is not likely to be fun using it all day. but neither is the subject it is about. What are your ideas to do it better? it is trimmed to the most efficient usability. I don't think you could make it funnier. What you might complain about is the tasks done with the program, not the ui itself.
my approache to handle such tasks is to reduce it to the mostly essential parts. everything else can be left or put behind. But if you do so, you will notice here and than somethin is missing, so you put this one and that one in, so you finally get what we have here. the only possibility is a so-called redesign. But until you do so, you try to compromize until there's no way out, say with lousy colored bubbles.

Philipp Schumann

Take a quick look at Ian's page I linked to: here's a good example of doing it differently. He stood out from the "Help Desk software" crowd, with many competitors having been on the market for years, all of which have GUI that reflect a weary, miserable mood in a dull way. His interface wasn't "lousy coloured bubbles", it was well-designed, yes with some (not too much) lively colours, and overall just enjoyable and pleasant, with a strong focus and usability and the productivity factor that you also mentioned (but no productive-only interface can make up for the loss of productivity due to unmotivated or annoyed users). It makes such a difference, and many of his customers buy because of that (only seemingly) "superfluous" difference.

To clarify what might not be clear from my rant above: I don't *really* try to judge what is good or bad user interface design---only what is a good or bad business move. Of course, the two are the same for me in this (and many others) case.

Your opinion and/or taste may well differ from that of "the average customer", particularly given that you are a programmer and the design above was likely done by programmers (looks like it). As it is not a product targeted at developers, whose taste is the a commercial software producer to follow, their own or that of their employees, or that of their average customer?

Over long, there is no choice but to be more customer-oriented. At least if you want to compete without much of a marketing budget and an expensive sales force going golfing with some potential customer executive. ;)

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Professional Life

  • [2007] Portal Systems Consulting
    A major, ongoing client of mine for software development and SharePoint consulting, including conducting workshops and training for their clients and employees.
  • [2006] Quotator
    Keep your favourite quotes organised and enhance your email signatures with random quotes from your collection.
  • [2005] SuDoku Pro
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Projects & Clients

  • Adhaero (Hemel Hampstead)
    Software localization of (now-defunct) DRM product suite for Microsoft Office (2003, mokka'logic)
  • Collaborative Commerce Marketplace (Coventry)
    On-site consulting and co-development of .NET-based, intelligent supply chain management solution (2005, Tometa)
  • dSPACE (Paderborn)
    Corporate design integration into the SharePoint corporate intranet (March 2007, PSC); development of an Applicants Management System based on SharePoint, .NET WebParts and the Microsoft Business Data Catalog (May through July 2007, PSC)
  • Gildemeister Seidensticker (Bielefeld)
    On-site workshop: SharePoint installation, administration, customization and enterprise search (March 2007, PSC)
  • Göde Science Trust (Aschaffenburg)
    On-site workshop: intranet migration to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (July 2007, PSC)
  • I&M (Berlin)
    Conceptual design, architecture and prototyping of an extensive, all-inclusive online hub to serve the German and European insurance industry (2004-2005, dualogy/aXon)
  • Ikon (Potsdam)
    Design, architecture and co-development of a web-based, custom business-to-business e-commerce solution in the security appliances sector (1999, c:ndg)
  • Masters Wines (New York)
    Business intelligence dashboards with advanced charting, key performance indicators and custom data aggregation (2006, Shedd)
  • Seminar for Advanced English Studies (Oxford)
    Website design and development, custom content management and customer relationship management tailored down to the requirements of SAES (2004, mokka'logic)
  • Solarlux (Osnabrück)
    On-site workshop on SharePoint design customization and live integration of corporate design into SharePoint (August 2007, PSC)
  • Sony Europe (Berlin)
    Development of a "MS Office Online"-lookalike theme for the new SharePoint corporate intranet (February 2007, PSC)
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