UX Matters

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When I was early in my career, VB v4 was popular, and easy. So many basic apps were built by not only software developers, but people in other departments with an interest in programming. Through VB v6, I found so many apps being built, often with complex and un-intuitive interfaces.

I was reminded of these apps when I saw a story about a mistake made by Citibank. Apparently an employee was supposed to send interest payments of US$7.8mm to creditors, however, the employee paid $500mm to Revlon, the entire amount of the loan. A mistake, and one for which Citibank is likely liable.

Apparently there was a UI (user interface) issue. If you read the article, you'll see a bad user interface, and one that is confusing. If you use this application regularly, it not be a big deal, but staff changes, and having useful UI matters. As I get older, and use more and more software applications, I really see the value in UI being well designed.

Most of us data professionals tend to work with our tools, some of which are well designed, some not, but often we're in a code editor, so we might not care as much. Writing code is code, though many of us do appreciate add-ins or extras that make it easy to organize our code.

I do think for administrators, or anyone that is looking at the status for their systems, good UI helps. Even if you deal with just data and text, having things displayed in an easy to understand format is important. This is also certainly true for most end users of software.

I'm not a UI/UX (user experience) person, but I know people that I can all for questions or hire for their experience. Over time, I've learned that paying attention to the UI/UX can make the difference between customers really enjoying what you've done and them feeling that you haven't really finished your product. I'm sure that Citibank, and many other large orgs, might be re-thinking the emphasis, or lack thereof, they place on this part of software development after hearing about this story.

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