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User Experience (Usability)

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Apr 20, 2004 6:42 am Familiarity (f)or usability
Ashutosh Bijoor
Hi everyone

I would like your opinions on the relationship of familiarity to usability of user interfaces.

We are in the process of revamping the interface of our enterprise relationship management suite. We had several different "innovative" design options. However, based on initial responses from users, we find that familiarity seems to play an inordinately high role in determining usability for most users.

Based on this observation, and given that all our target users are expected to use the software over extended periods all day, we have decided to adopt an interface that mimics the standard Windows look as closely as possible so as to provide a seamless transition between our application and the usual Office applications that users spent most of their time on.

We have ofcourse, attempted to stick to W3C standards and used CSS and DHTML as much as possible while trying to keep compatibility with a fixed number of browser versions (IE6+ and Moz1.5+), thus keeping the interface efficient in performance over slower networks.

Initial user reports are encouraging. But before we jump in the deep end, I am hoping to get some feedback / advice from experts on this network about potential pitfalls if any, or validation of our strategy.

Thank you in advance

Private Reply to Ashutosh Bijoor (new win)

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