A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Even in the face of the tablet revolution, the keyboard is not going away anytime soon. You can do without it when consuming (browsing, buying etc.). But when producing (the stuff you do at work), you need the keyboard. Well, at least I do.
The keyboard is a dumping ground
My Thinkpad has these modifier keys: Shift, Caps lock, Ctrl, Alt, Alt Gr, Windows, Fn. They are a sign of a disease: Layering more and more functions on top of the same QWERTY keys. When 7 modifier keys are not enough, what’s the solution? To combine modifier keys! Having to memorize unnatural combinations like Ctrl+Alt+[letter] is not uncommon in large applications.
Workflows are often requested in enterprise software.
They cover areas such as publishing articles in a CMS, sales- and purchase order approval, online registration, shipment, subscription and cancellation. Among many other things. You probably go through several workflows in the course of a work day.
Why do we have workflows? For many different reasons:
- Ensure that things are done in the right order. No shipment before payment. No shipment before all items are in stock. No unwrapping of presents before the tree has been lit.
- Ensure the right people do their part of the job. For instance, making sure an article is reviewed by PR before being published. Or that each elf makes his part of the wooden truck.
- Ensure the right people are informed. For instance a mail is sent to the Finance dept. when a payment is overdue. And Santa is notified when little Molly misbehaves.
- Make sure that people don’t overwrite each others changes. For instance the check-in/out mechanism in most content management systems. And making sure that you and your wife don’t both buy a gift for aunt Christie.
- Document that standards and procedures are followed to comply with rules and regulations.