Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In defense - UX principle

I was encouraged by the following - a friend shared some principles from an application mantra being tabled for new applications in a category that is increasingly focused on productivity, decision-making and front-facing application strategy - military and defense.  These principles are clearly not top secret to anyone working in the space and would be well adapted by any application or business team considering users in their mission statement.

This obviously does not preclude requirements for security, surety, scale, trust, privacy, secrecy and other requirements.  This simply addresses the interaction layer that in turn represents all other requirements.

I cannot share the source at this time, but this is very well thought out and provides a pragmatic sensibility to how UX can contribute to the success of projects and adoption of applications.

There is clearly a place for 'Principle 16' in our taxonomy.


Principle 16: Ease-of-Use


Applications are easy to use. The underlying technology is transparent to users, so they can concentrate on tasks at hand.


The more a user has to understand the underlying technology, the less productive that user is. Ease-of-use is a positive incentive for use of applications. It encourages users to work within the integrated information environment instead of developing isolated systems to accomplish the task outside of the enterprise's integrated information environment. Most of the knowledge required to operate one system will be similar to others. Training is kept to a minimum, and the risk of using a system improperly is low.

Using an application should be as intuitive as driving a different car.


* Applications will be required to have a common "look and feel" and support ergonomic requirements. Hence, the common look and feel standard must be designed and usability test criteria must be developed.

* Guidelines for user interfaces should not be constrained by narrow assumptions about user location, language, systems training, or physical capability. Factors such as linguistics, customer physical infirmities (visual acuity, ability to use keyboard/mouse), and proficiency in the use of technology have broad ramifications in determining the ease-of-use of an application.

Requirement 16:

All enterprise development must strike a balance between business requirements, IT standards and practices, and user experience.

Requirement 16 lends itself EXACTLY to the post I wrote on Saturday about settting practical guidelines for the adoption of UX expertise.

This is timely because I am working on a broader principles post that encompasses 10  key principles for UX that anyone can use to evaluate and drive better experiences.  If only I had 15 - then I could just add this one ;-)

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