The latest Michelin Guide is out, and Copenhagen added another two stars for a total of 15 of the coveted Michelin Stars across 13 restaurants.
In order to reach the exceptional level of a Michelin-starred restaurant, you need to have an absolute world-class chef. And he (almost invariably a “he”) needs a good team around him.
However, most development team does not need temperamental world-class artists. For independent software vendors, who can sell thousands of extra copies of exceptionally good software, might make sense to enter the fight for highly-paid top-level talent. But most organizations are building in-house software that needs to be functional and user-friendly, but not necessarily compete with Facebook and Amazon.
You need a team of competent craftsmen and the ability to call of top-level talent when you need it – to review architecture, mentor your team and solve difficult problems. But you don’t need to hire your own stars.
It’s the time of the year when the Danish Tax authorities release the annual tax statement, and all 5 million Danes want to see if they have to pay extra or will get a refund.
This used to be a day of crashes, downtime and unavailable systems, followed by ritual gnashing of teeth by politicians and the press. Today, the system simply places people in an orderly queue – I’m number 115,815 and my expected waiting time is 1 hour 29 minutes.
That’s proper use of technology. No matter what the load you are experiencing on your servers, there is no excuse for your site simply being down. Are you prepared?
Again and again, I’ve seen significant decisions made based on defective reasoning. One of the most common errors is the fallacy of the converse – the belief that if A leads to B, and B happened, then A must have happened.
This fails to take account of all the other things that might have caused B. But many people don’t see this because these other explanations are beyond their cognitive horizon.
I’ll talk more about this in tomorrows’ issue of my weekly Technology That Fits newsletter – sign up here.
Together with other leading experts on User Experience from Oracle like Vice President Jeremy Ashley, Managing Partner Lonneke Dikmans from Vennster and CTO Lucas Jellema from AMIS, I’ll be speaking at the OAUX Expo in the Netherlands on March 18th.
I’m speaking on two topics:
- How to tailor an application to your user’s needs without coding
- How to implement a good User Experience in Oracle ADF for the cases where you do need to write code
If you’re within a couple of countries from the Netherlands, I encourage you to sign up for this event to hear the latest on modern User Experience.
There are good places and bad places for an IT department in an organization.
Some organizations tuck the IT department away in some corner of the org chart, but that means that they miss out on IT as an engine of growth.
The above graphic is from my weekly “Technology That Fits” newsletter, where this week’s issue explains more about how IT fits into an organization. You can sign up for the newsletter here.
I just had dinner with a very successful consulting colleague, and he told me he was returning his new BMW because he hated the software. Instead, was getting a Porsche that has physical buttons for the controls instead the touchscreen in the BMW.
He was happy with everything else about the car, but a poorly designed interface killed the deal. Just because you can add fancy features like a touchscreen doesn’t always mean you should. Are you adding fancy features that get in your users’ way?
A long tail is a distribution of some data point where a few data point have a high value, but most of the data points have a much lower value. When sorting the data points by value, there will be a large “head” and a long “tail”.
Application usage displays the “long tail” characteristic: A few screens are used much more than others.
If you are re-developing your application, for example moving from Oracle Forms to ADF, focus on the head – the 10% of the application that is used 90% of the time.
For more graphics and discussions like this, subscribe to my weekly Technology That Fits newsletter.
The February issue of the ADF Mastery newsletter just went out. If you are not on the list, you can sign up here.
This month, I’m covering the following topics:
- Which version should I use?
- A learning plan for the ADF basics
- Best practice for good user experience
The first topic is often a matter of some debate. I recommend using JDeveloper 126.96.36.199 for now – this is the stable version that the Fusion/Cloud Application team at Oracle themselves are using, and it comes with a complete middleware stack.
If you have ever rented a car in the US, you will be familiar with the little LCD device on the counter where you sign your rental contract with a plastic stylus. On the same device, you’re also obliged to acknowledge other things. Since the text is written in 6-point font on a low-quality LCD device, it is for all practical purposes illegible. I assume I’m agreeing to things like that it’s not the rental company’s fault if I run someone over.
The girl at my rental company knew the procedure by heart. “Nine agrees and a signature,” she offered helpfully.
I’ve seen a lot of systems with superfluous dialog boxes that do not add any value and do not cause the user to actually think about the content of the dialog box – they simply slow the user down. I think I’ll call it “nine-agrees-and-a-signature syndrome”. Does any of your systems suffer from that?
Until this month, I’ve never had to interact directly with the user interface of an SAP system. But now I understand painfully well what users mean when they complain about the usability of enterprise software.
There is an inflection point where usability gets so bad that people will actively try to avoid using the system. You do not want your system to be on the left side of this curve.
Measure how much your systems are being used, and work on the user experience to move towards the right.
This is an excerpt from my “Technology That Fits” newsletter. Sign up for this weekly newsletter for practical tips to use information technology to achieve your goals.