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butterbur
03-11-2004, 06:42 PM
Could you take a look at a new appointment scheduling system I've developed. I would like any suggestions on how the interface could be improved. Site is www.knabba.com (http://www.knabba.com)
. Thanks for your time.
Martin

SJT
03-17-2004, 08:06 PM
Very nicely implemented technology wise, and the walk through style is good; leading the user onto the next task.

It's difficult to give useful feedback on systems like this through forums and so on. To be honest, I think you'd get your best source of information out of user testing.
There are lots of different approaches to testing for these sort of things; as it's quite a small scale system you could just observe a few users as they go through the motions.

aversion
03-17-2004, 11:18 PM
I took a look at the demo and have a couple of comments about the usability.

1/ The look is very plain, clean is good and it's clean, but you could make the interface more attractive and usable by making some adjustments to the way it looks.

For example, the fonts you use are all very similar. The small red font on the warning works well to make you read it but for the rest of the forms there is little contrast between titles, annotative text and input. I think it helps to focus the user if there is more contrast between different types of form element like that.

As an example of what I'm talking about look at the top of the second form where it tells you "Currently booking...", it just looks like a paragraph of text and doesn't seem to merit any particular attention. By doing something simple, like bolding the first two words and adding a colon, you can draw the user's attention to it.

Also the way the forms sit on the page, I think you would benefit from differentiating the flash app from the rest of the page just so that it doesn't seem to 'float' so much and users know the area they're supposed to be paying attention to.

2/ The date set up is ok but the first time you run through the form you select a type, then you select a person, then you select a date from the calendar. The problem comes when you then click on the time that appears when you've selected a date. The form's focus is still on the person drop down and clicking on the time list doesn't select a time, it only serves to move the focus to the time list and a second click is required to actually highlight a time.

It's a small thing but over and over again it's the small things that create a better user experience.

3/ This is less of a small thing. The 'additional information' box clears of the informational text when you click on it, which is good, and you can type in your comment. Problem comes when you do something else within the form, remove the focus from the element, and then click on the text box again, your comment disappears!! That needs to be fixed with a simple if statement or flag variable.

4/ Last thing, when I click the "book it" button without entering an email address it just does nothing. You should keep the user informed and reinforce that you require an email address to be entered. There are always people that will not enter an email and click that button and think that they've made the appointment.

There also doesn't seem to be any checking on the email address to see if it's valid or not and, again, this is vital (and simply implemented) defensive design so you don't have people entering incorrect email addresses waiting for your confirmation email in vain.


otherwise it looks good, hope it goes well for you.

btw, I'm looking at this using the firefox browser, but that shouldn't make too much difference, but you never know.

butterbur
03-18-2004, 08:23 AM
Thank you.
I should have known that the best advice is worth waiting for. I have implemented many of the changes aversion suggested however I have kept the background plain to allow users to fit it in with their existing sites. Also I've not encountered the focus issue with time after date. I've tested under windows/linux and various browsers including Firefox (the best to date IMHO)and have not seen this.
Anyway, a really big thank you.
Martin