Openbravo's User Experience Lab
GUI design, ERP Usability and Visual Design

You Have Spoken: Design Concepts Survey Results

Friday, April 3, 2009

Less than two months ago we presented design concepts for a new user interface for Openbravo ERP and asked you to give feedback by filling out the surveys or by discussing the design work on the User Experience Lab forum. And so you did! No less than 127 surveys were completed and many users participated in lively discussions on the forum.

The forum discussions continue and I'm getting more and more excited to see what beautiful things are happening there. With your help I was able to lift the design concepts to the next level. What about the new Virtual Child idea: a more elegant solution for Linked Items, while offering a new home for meta data, notes and attachments? You guys loved the Column Search for the grids, but couldn't care less about First-Letter-Search. Good to know. About the proposed Advanced Search: You liked its power, but many users pointed out that it just takes up too much space. So, after some discussion on the forum, here's a more simplified version. We also worked a bit more on the Task Paths idea and introduced the Label Context Bubble. Now let's hear your feedback so we can sculpt it even further.

Back to the survey results. If you are into stats and charts: check the results for Overall, Master Detail, Search and MyWorkspace . Cutting a long story short: You liked our concepts very much. Over 96% of you think the new stuff is "better" or "much better" than the current Openbravo ERP GUI. The other 4% voted “neutral” and no negative votes were given.

Really encouraging were the comments you gave, spread out across all four surveys. Lots of "Bravos" and "We want it!" and most of them are about the concept as a "holistic solution". This is especially helpful as we intended to design a complete new GUI framework that needs to serve as the basis for future functionality. All the different functional areas need to work together as a whole. You gave us the impression that we are heading in the right direction here.

The concepts shown to you were all about the GUI of our product but obviously there are many more features that deserve their place on the road map. For the GUI related features we now have a good idea of what is important and what not. For the bigger list of features, please visit the Uservoice Openbravo page where you can vote for features.

Now the next step is to use all the feedback that you have given – or will give soon – in the next round of design iterations. We will keep on doing this till the moment we are going to build it. The UX Lab is the place to go. I will post new design work as we go and you can throw stones or flowers at it. At the moment I'm publishing all the latest design mockups in a Picasa web album. These images are really snapshots in time of ongoing design work so the latest greatest are the last ones in the sequence.

What we're doing here is called Collaborative Design. I will blog about this phenomenon soon into more detail.