Daniel Jean

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Top Stories by Daniel Jean

Even the most productive and effective application can be rendered useless by a poor user interface. Before we start, I want you to consider, for example, the following frustrating scenario.... Joe is a salesperson at a company that uses a Web-based online expense report system. It's the end of the month, so he logs into the system and starts filling out his expense report. Many fields need to be filled out, and in the middle of entering the data he goes searching for receipts and other paperwork. For security reasons the system is set to timeout his session if 15 minutes go by without any "activity." After working on his expense report for 25 minutes and having his session timeout without his knowing it, he presses the save button. The application has timed out and he's forced back to the login screen. Joe isn't quite sure what just happened, so he logs in again an... (more)

Improving Web Page Usability With Wizards

Just about everyone who uses a Windows-based system is familiar with the wizard metaphor. The wizard is a series of screens, each one asking questions and gathering data. The collected data isn't submitted until the final screen, which means the user can go backward or forward through the screens and adjust the data appropriately. Since users are already familiar and comfortable with this metaphor, using wizards can truly increase the usability of your applications. The wizard metaphor lends itself fairly well to the Web except for two problems: (1) how to save temporary informa... (more)