Monday, July 1, 2013

Understanding the organisation's culture when designing a tool

When we design software for people, one thing we need to realize is the culture of the organisation. Because it exists before the implementation of the tool. Also organisation's culture determines the general mindset of people who are going to use that tool.
For an example, if you are going to design a issue tracker system for a software product, the sales team would expect a different set of user friendly UIs and data to be managed by the tool. If that tool is for developers, then they would expect more flexibility to add new resources to be managed and integration of the tool with other services/APIs like source code repository, email etc.
If we don't get this at design phase, a software development team will develop a tool for a sales team  where the tool has clueless features for sales guys.
One other aspect of this concern surfaces out when releasing major modifications to a tool. For an example, FaceBook users criticised a lot about the new timeline feature and GMail's new compose feature also was criticised a lot by the existing users.