“Faster, slicker, easier to use. That’s how we sold it to the business.” It is a common theme, IT have a system that is costly to maintain, hard to extend, is on a dated platform and no longer fit for purpose. The business are persuaded of the need for a replacement.
This is what happened at an organisation I recently visited. But it didn’t quite go to plan. A number of years later and they’ve got an application that is slower, uglier and harder to use. What happened was the business intent was distilled into requirements (based upon the existing functionality). Each requirement was captured as a control on a screen. These were bundled up and sent to India for coding, and the developers went and built a bunch of screens. They considered interface design but not interaction design. They focussed upon technical processes rather than user journeys and the resultant deliverable was something that functionally ticked all the boxes (it did what the specifications said it should do) but was ultimately rejected by the people it was intended to help. The code may have been great but that meant little to the business who found the application a pig to use. Another failed multi-million dollar IT project.
User interface design is more than just screen design, it is about the journey the user takes to accomplish their goals. Remembering that could have saved this particular organisation a lot of money.