Process orientation

In most reviews that I’ve been a part of, I often find myself telling the developer how to make a “process” better. When I use the word process, it could be used to mean the flow of information, or the underlying method used to accomplish a task, or the logic of why a certain (screen) navigation sequence is used.

Sometimes, deciding this comes down to thinking clearly, or to figuring out how many people are likely to use a certain scenario that a developer has coded for (you need user input for this, I’ll admit).

While earlier I used to attack the UI and restricted myself to the screens, now I ask the Why questions. “Why are you doing it this way and not that?” “Why does this screen need to come up first?” I think that asking those questions has made for a much better overall user experience. Developers too are able to appreciate the importance of the “process”.

However, while it’s good that usability (I use this word in the broadest sense possible) persons look at the process, it’s also important to educate developers on the importance of looking at the underlying assumptions rather than only the UI. That’s where usability training could help get the developers take some of the responsibility for the user experience.

Teach them to fish, instead of giving them a fish. What say?

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