14 steps to improve your applications’ usability

In my last post ‘5 ways to help you improve intranet applications’ I talked about some easy steps you can take.  The first step was having some usability standards to apply to your intranet applications so users have the best experience.

 

Now, there are plenty of sites and blogs who can give you expert guidance.  The difference with these standards is they are practical and have been applied in BT.  They are:

 

1.  Have a style guide so there is consistent, usable, design

2.  Measure cycle time to check speed of doing things

3.  Measure support calls to helpdesks and target a reduction

4.  Examine the systems error logs and see where people are having problems

5.  Observe real users not survey (or listen to the opinion of senior stakeholders)

6.  Fix the easy and small things like the labels on buttons and the headings in forms

7.  Be forgiving.  Allow the back button and provide an undo feature

8.  Make help available where people need it. 

9.  Only have a minimum FAQ section.  Instead try to reduce the questions people are asking frequently – the FAQ is a ‘things to fix’ list

10. Fix accessibility so everyone can use it

11. Consider the system emails and improve them

12. Forget trying to tell people things for their own good, we all have banner blindness

13. Be consistent across applications in the style and language.

14. Allow deep linking to specific parts of the system

 

My thanks to Sandy Blair for his help with this post. 🙂

2 responses to “14 steps to improve your applications’ usability

  1. Pingback: Improving usability with Oracle « Mark Morrell

  2. Pingback: Improving usability with Oracle « Interesting things about ECM

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