Interface THIS

Well, some of you may already know, but just in case you don't, my Software Engineering Project is with a local casino/country club.  they're really big on having their stuff look just so.  fine, no problem.  The rub is that after we designed this interface (which we hated too, so no dramas) they said tehyd go and hire someone to redesign.  well, they eventually did. a fortnight or so ago.

on Monday, I called the designer with the CCT HR Dept's (Commissioner of our project) sayso, to find out what was going on with the designs etc.  he emailed some pictures through, and there are issues.

I think most of these stem from the fact that he hasn't spoken to anyone initially connected to the project.  Not to HR, not to us, the dev team.  he's spoken to Marketing, who have spoken to HR, who have spoken to us.and we're not sure how much he spoke with marketing.  There are a couple though, which any designer should see as an issue:

  1. White text on fluoro lime button.  completely unreadable. the white on powder blue button is almost as bad.
  2. the "general level" content pane draws attention away from the "detailed" content pane.
  3. 2 is because the "general level" content pane is not only visible when the detailed content pane is, but also the fact that the detailed content pane takes up approx 1/6 of the screen, compared to the "general level" one at almost 1/3
  4. 3 results in the text in the detailed pane being fairly small, causing issues for the up to 60/70 year olds that are supposed to be able to access the system (I can't remember the age offhand) simply not being able to read the information.
  5. the "Create Booking" screen is almost nice, except for the colour he chose to use, I know it's the colour in their logo, their logo looks good, but that's because their logo is -small-.khaki-gold in large quantities looks, well, crappy

Now, there are a couple things which should be clarified (read: fixed) in a meeting tomorrow between HR, Myself, Designer, and Marketing which we only decided we should have at about 3:30 this arvo.  The HR person I talk to identified these operational issues as well, which is a relief.

  1. This is a training booking package.  not (currently) a recruitment tool, and although it wouldn't be hard to adapt it and add that module in, it shouldn't have a link to "positions vacant" just yet.
  2. The organisational structure of the site is supposed to be that courses are linked via jobs.  ie, "What job do you want? Oh, you need to do Course X,Y,and Z"  he's separated courses and jobs into separate tabs on his "general content" pane. basically destroying almost all linkage between job and course, (he does provide a link to courses via the detailed pane though) 

I'll show you some pictures once I know for sure that these ones aren't going to be used in the real deal.  We like the overall look+Feel, but there are just a couple of things that need fixing. Some of those are just colours (actually, they're all just colours… these are photoshopped guis) but seeing as these pics are basically our style-guide, everyone needs to be happy with them.

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5 thoughts on “Interface THIS

  1. Oh god, it was a designer that made all those kack-ups in the design? Bloody hell! You would hope a first year design student wouldn't make those mistakes let alone a professional. Are you sure it wasn't on of the boss's relatives that did it? That's the one I usually encounter when it comes to horror stories like this ("Don't worry, I've got someone who can redesign it. My son is really good at FrontPage")The only possible defense this 'designer' could have for all of these problems is if the country club/casino didn't bother telling them they had a development team already working on it, or neglected to pass on your details so you could all work together. (I seem to be copping this on my most recent project, where the only way I found out someone else was working on the site was when I found weird new files there that I didn't remember uploading.) If the casino then gave them stupid instructions on how they wanted the pages to look then the designer would be *slightly* off the hook. I've had idiot clients tell me to do ugly things to web pages before, no matter how much I advise them to rethink their design directions (why do you think I've never linked to the site I'm trying to fix at the moment? Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.) Of course, if this 'designer' came up with this nonsense off his or her own bat then a public flogging is in order!If your project has a written component other than the usual user documentation at least you can include all of this. Uni lecturers love it if you can document client-side problems in the project and show how you overcame them and what you'd do differently next time.I'm sure this will all work out in the end. You seem very determined to make it succeed. And uni lecturers can see when students are working hard, even if they've been stuck with dud clients.

  2. re your defense section? as soon as the designer was hired, an email was sent out to both him and I, introducing us, and saying that the designer would contact us soon with some questions.I even emailed him later that day to tell him that if he had any questions at all, to just ask!and yes, if the casino had told them to do something nuts, we'd understand. But, since our client is unhappy with it too, I'm guessing it's not what they told him.

  3. Well, I don't know what they were thinking… why on earth would you hire a designer for your webpage who hasn't even got theirs on anything beyond an "Under Construction" Page. I mean, I didn't have even that, but by the same token, I only purchased my domain/hosting -after- I got my first web-design customer, so that I could test my stuff on the same servers as it was actually going to go on, without spending my client's money on it, wasting time off her hosting package. But then, I also didn't advertise my website on anything until I fixed it up and made it presentable! Why didn't I look @ their website before? I don't know, but that answers some questions I had (not to ask other people, but just for me to consider internally).It's all a bit disturbing…

  4. Well, In our meeting on thursday, we had some breakthroughs, the client wanted almost exactly the things we wanted, which was nice… the "Designer" could see what we meant when I showed him the images on my PDA (blown up to look like they would normally look like on an LCD) When I talked about the buttons issues. so things are being fixed, and we should have some real stuff to do in 1-2 weeks… which is cutting it a little fine, but what can you do… after all, it's not like we're being paid. Unfortunately, these guys are a likely place of employment in the future.

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