Efficient, Effective, Effortless
Pythagoras, the ancient Greek philosopher, believed that the meaning behind numbers was incredibly significant. In his eyes, three was a perfect number, signifying the beginning, middle, and end; the number of harmony, wisdom and understanding.
E is the most common letter in the English language — at least according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary it is — where it appears in over 11% of words, 3% clear of the next highest (A, if you were wondering).
If this all sounds a bit airy and vaguely irrelevant then, well, it is; but it serves as a nice introduction to some of the guiding principles we use when building out features in Fieldfusion... Can we answer these questions positively?
Does this feature increase efficiency for the user?
Does this feature provide an effective solution to the user’s problems
Is this feature effortless to use?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’ then it’s time to revisit the concept and attempt to reconfigure some element of the design to get a positive answer.
Let’s look at an example: a prospective client comes to us and asks if we can add in the ability to filter and allocate resources by skill. “Sure”, we say. That sounds like an effective solution; it makes a dispatcher’s job easier and increases the efficiency of their workflow — we can keep a record of a field tech’s skills, the certifications they hold and when they expire — the dispatcher can hit a couple of checkboxes and see all engineers available on a given day with the required skillset.
But is that workflow effortless? What if we could pull the skill requirements through from the task itself? Let’s add that functionality in. OK, perfect.
Hang on, what if those requirements aren’t known when the job is created? Not a problem, let’s keep it editable across the full workflow so the user can add it in when required and we can re-visit the feature based on user feedback.
That’s a slightly simplified version of a real-world scenario but it demonstrates those guiding principles, the three Es; efficient, effective, effortless. We use them across the entire business; when dealing with prospective clients, existing clients, each other, through UX design and feature building and implementation. Everywhere
I believe Pythagoras said it best: “Is your current workflow as effective, efficient, and effortless as it could be?”
Or maybe he didn’t. Still, it’s got a nice ring to it if nothing else.