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Ask HN: UX design materials for line of business applications?
4 points by laurencer 1593 days ago | hide | past | web | 2 comments | favorite
Can anyone recommend UX design materials relevant for data-driven web applications?

I'm currently working on a line of business application.

Users will be performing the same tasks repeatedly, inputting and reviewing a lot of data to get their job done. They will spend their entire working day using this application. It's usage is closer to something like Excel than a traditional form/wizard based workflow.

Speed of review and input are obviously really important, and I can assume that users will become familiar with it (although learnability is very important).

Most UX materials I've come across are for consumer web applications or tools. The user isn't expected to sit in the application all day and use it for everything. Additionally, they focus more on form-based or workflow tasks.

I know all of the principles are the same but I'd love examples of LOB web applications that are a pleasure to use.

Hi, UX designer here, which I came to via usability and Jef Raskin's The Humane Interface.

You don't want to look for modern UX materials.

You want to look for older "usability" and "human-computer interface" (HCI) materials. 1970's and 1980's-era.

Classical usability and HCI, and the tools and practices that came out of those fields, were entirely about line-of-business applications, because you had an 80x25 text-only green screen and no graphics and no pointer and the entire purpose of a computer was to make the user more efficient.

This is the route Jef Raskin pursues in The Humane Interface. He talks about basic measures of efficiency, things like GOMS and information theory, and how to apply them to UIs.

The example he uses is an interactive thermometer. You're a lab assistant, and a scientist calls out temperatures to you and you need to yell back the conversion as fast as possible. What is the minimum amount of input such an application needs before it can give you the answer? And he works through all the possible examples with you in that chapter.

I'd pick up his book, and then look for all the things he references in the text and the bibliography, to start.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Thanks, I'll be sure to check out The Humane Interface.

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