Things I’ve Learned in Dalet – The Unified User Experience
An easy and consistent product experience encourages users to try new things and gives different operators the ability to help each other.By Bruce Devlin | 01/21/15
I’ve always told new staff that “You only get one chance to be a newbie!”. This often confuses people. What I am trying to say to them is that when you join a new company, there are many things that you don’t know about the way the company works, the people, the products, the design methodologies and who makes a decent cup of coffee. This uncertainty can make some people nervous, but I try to encourage people to enjoy the learning experience and, where possible, to document the good and bad things that they find. After 12 months, it’s very hard to remember what it was like to “not know” the product or to “not understand” a particular user screen.
It’s a nice change for me to be the newbie and to learn new things. I’m a pretty quick learner, but I like to keep an open mind because there are a lot of people out there who are smarter than me but not everyone is prepared to tell me to my face. Joining the Dalet team has shown me a bunch of those smart people and the results of some of their work. I can’t tell you about all the secret things in the lab. However, I can talk about one subtle, but very important thing that I discovered…
I was using the Dalet News Pack to find out how it worked and how we can integrate AmberFin‘s technology to make it even better. After about 30-40 minutes it struck me that I was using a single integrated piece of software. I know that under the hood there are many different tools, libraries and other elements that come together to make this product, yet my learning experience felt pretty natural and intuitive. This doesn’t happen by accident. I know that many people will have sat down and looked at what a user actually does with the software as well as how they interact with it. Creating a single user experience is actually a tough thing to do. Keeping things both consistent and good requires strong management of the product and a vision of what the product needs to be for the end users.
Why is this a good thing for our customers though? I have helped a lot of customers with a lot of complex workflows and the one thing that I consistently hear is how hard things can be to learn. Making a product easy and consistent in its experience encourages users to try new things and it also gives different operators from different teams the ability to help each other. Reducing learning and training time saves money and increases productivity for the owner of the system. It encourages diverse users to feel part of the same team and reduces the “fear of the unknown” when new workflows need to be investigated.
I must say that I have been impressed so far with my experiences here at Dalet. I understand why customers like the Dalet MAM so much. Now it’s time to learn the Dalet OneCut editor so that I can deliver our YouTube training videos using Dalet’s own tools.