For the upcoming new release of Exact Synergy Enterprise we will amongst others deliver a redesigned screen for creating a new request. Since this is one of the most often used parts of our application we wanted to improve the user experience of it and needed to be sure on how to do this best. Not just the looks-and-feel but we want to support every user better in reaching her goals: starting a new workflow in a simple and easy way.
So we did quite some research with a set of customers on how they use the current screen, how many request types they have, which ones they actively used et cetera. Now that the new screen is in controlled release we get mixed feedback on one specific part, via this post I would like to open up for more feedback to make sure we deliver the right experience to you.
Our user research learned us a couple of things which resulted in these design principles for the new screen:
- an average company will have over 50 different request types
- most users use about five to ten of them frequently
- the request type categories are not very well known within the user group
- searching for a specific less frequently used request is quite cumbersome and only a limited number of users is using the search option of Internet Explorer [CTRL+F] for this
- the request ID box is only used by a limited number of user to create a new request
- the majority of the users is unaware of how to use it or what to enter in it
Based on the findings we have redesigned the looks and working of the screen with the following three key parts.
- A list of the requests most used by you as a person
- An easy way to create a request by ID and request name
- A list with all available request types
The mixed feedback is especially on this last part. Since during our research we learned that a limited number of users where aware of the request type IDs (e.g. a Vacation request is number 103) we did not include them in the list. The ordering used to be on number but for people it is easier to scan alphabetically since the name of a request gives a better understanding than the number. For the unaware user it was hard to scan the list we learned. So our aim was to increase the readability and hence an easier recognition by just using the request names. The users which now the IDs are still served by the request creator, in this field you can either enter the code or the request name.
Via this post I hope to get more feedback on especially this part. Should the request IDs be re-introduced in the list and even more important what is for you the reason to use it? Maybe as a last remark, removing the request ID was not a goal by itself. During our user research of the last year we often got the feedback that the screens of Exact Synergy are quite loud, they offer a lot of options. Redesigning the complete request page has been done with keeping this in mind, make the screens easier to understand by offering less options and the options offered are a perfect fit for your goals. Please reply with your thoughts!