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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Out With the Old…

…and in with the new:

imageScreenie showing contact info, time in queue, 
customer feedback and technical rating of the caller.

I am really trying to follow some of the current trends in visualization.  What I’ve come to learn is that software users know what they want to do, they just don’t know how they want to do it.  What’s worse is that we’ve reinforced behaviours developed under poor software design and now many of us in the software development world are guilty of holding up those behaviours to point of encouraging them.

When a call comes into our helpdesk, the service reps don’t want to see all of the customer information; they want to see the information they need to confirm a customer’s identity.

The previous version of the software, which officially began development nearly a decade ago, wasn’t focused on a role or a task.  It was data-centric.  If you requested to see more data – because it would better serve your role or task – it was layered onto or composed into existing screens. 

The end result was that, over time, data started get lost.  Many bits of data were forgotten about, overlooked, under-used and – worse – re-implemented in different areas with slightly different meanings.

Using MVVM and WPF we are already improving the experience for the customer by improving the experience for the call staff.

I’m not saying I knocked it out of the park here, and arguably, someone with a little more design experience could improve this dramatically (go ahead! Write your own View and bind to my ViewModel!) but I think this is proof that software can look sexy and be functional at the same time.


  1. I do hope that's a fugified customer, and not an actual person's name & info you put up there...

  2. no, no...that's a REAL customer. i keep it real, yo! ;o)

    in all seriousness, i was about three seconds away from a world of privacy hurt before i realized i needed to change that data...