June 28th, 2004


Talkin' About Work

So one of the screens I'm designing here at work is an "absence management" sort of screen, so the system will know what adjusters are available and can be assigned a claim to work on.

The first iteration was very basic, and we were talking about ways to make it quicker and easier to use. At one point, one of the users on the other end of the conference call asked, "Maybe we could make it work like [our parent company's new vacation entry system]?"

There was a long pause.

I glanced with surprised eyebrows at the two people in the room with me. Finally I broke the silence, "Um, am I the only one who finds [our parent company's new vacation entry system] incredibly frustrating?"

A chorus of laughter broke out on both ends of the phone line, clearly answering my question. One of the other programmers on the line answered, "That's why none of us responded!"

The user who'd suggested it clarified, "Well, it's good in theory, it just doesn't quite work."

I wanted to respond with, Well sure, I can write you something that doesn't quite work, that's no problem at all. But I held my tongue.

Instead I proposed a compromise, something that would be pretty easy to do and would be easy to use. Hopefully it will make data entry a lot quicker.

Speaking of which, I'd better go work on that....