Pay attention to the user experience

As the network architect, a significant part of my job is building systems our users enjoy using. Since I work on the networking team, I am hyper-focused on building interfaces or process that help our users attach to the network. From wired, wireless, or remote access VPN, our team pays special attention to making the connection process hassle free.

My appreciation for the user experience goes beyond the commonplace technology interface. This past week, I checked in at a BJC medical center for a routine medical procedure. Upon arrival, someone instantly acknowledged me, asking if I was here for a procedure. When I answered “yes”, they directed me to the elevator and told me to “push the procedure button”.

Inside the elevator, I am presented with the following options:

Image of iOS iPad wifi

This is my ideal example of an excellent user interface. I suspect many people entering a hospital are already anxious and may not desire to process more information than absolutely necessary. In this interface, the buttons that matter are straightforward and unmistakable. Reducing a patient’s stress and instantly transporting them to the required location.

The world is our classroom. Learn to keep it simple, limit the users’ options and make it obvious how to use them.