They say you learn something new every day.

I’m designing an internal web application at work. Gathering feedback today, one person said it was “too easy” to use.

It’s an interesting problem to have. Generally things are too difficult to use.

I think there were actually two parts to this problem:

  1. The application was very sparse and didn’t seem like a fully featured application. It reminds me of how Google had to put the copyright bar on the bottom of the bar, because people kept thinking the page hadn’t fully loaded.
  2. It wasn’t giving users enough feedback telling them that things had been finished or achieved successfully. 

To combat both of these things, I redesigned it a bit today to make it look more solid (largely this involved putting a fade on the header background, and a background colour on the main part of the page, with the main text centered).

It was amazing how much of a difference this made. Almost at once the application looked more “solid”. While it wasn’t harder to use, it felt more “solid” somehow. When you clicked the button you felt like you were doing something.

I’m reminded again of how important design is. It’s depressing, I know, but everyone does judge books by their covers.

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