Friday, March 15, 2013

User Interface Defines User-Friendliness


Since the foray of personal computers into our life during the last three decades, monitors, keyboards and mouses have remained as the most essential interface devices for human to interact with computers. Even though we observed some minor improvements like monitors from bulky to flat, to higher resolution; keyboards from big to smaller; and mice from cabled to wireless; the nature of the medium stayed put.

It remained that way until computing power were compressed into tablets and smartphones, where the new human interface started to observe a real change, and the change is obviously welcomed and quickly situated the once dominant PC-era to a post-PC era.

Innovators are betting on new interfaces to drive computing power
And more and more innovators are betting on new interfaces to drive computing power, like the wearable Google Glass, a Kinect-like device to replace the mouse, voice control and etc. Or, another advancement in interface development is to find a way to stuff the computing power into other existing devices from car dashboards to kitchen appliances, or even to the TV in the living room.

Just like how many other eBook readers failed to change the human reading habit until Amazon’s Kindle reader became the mainstream, user interface typically plays a crucial role.

Even though we are a technology company that focuses our attention to develop industrial products, our efforts are not really out of the scope of user interface. In 1999, we had the idea to replace the RFID cards with human fingerprint as the fundamental threshold interface for employees to enter a premise or to clock in/out when they report to work with an objective to curb fraudulent activities. We realized our idea by designing biometric devices that were first implanted with fingerprint recognition, expanded later to face verification, and then integrated into our software that processes all the captured clocking data.

When technological products are invented to serve human, we have to think holistically, fine-tuning the products to suit every possible use of customers and, in a comforting way. You just can’t expect users to adjust themselves to adapt to some of your shortcomings in design; not even the slightest. We believe any technology that works against the comfortableness of the users, would not achieve big success.

Hence, we always revisit our products, collect feedbacks from users, and constantly improve them. And, this time around, besides adding job-costing features to enhance TimeTec, the web and cloud-based time and attendance software, we spent two months since February, to revamp its user interfaces, towards a more intuitive, convenient, user-friendly software.  

In this round of improvements, we expect to achieve greater user satisfaction. 

1 comment:

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