SenchaCon Day2: Desktop User Experience

Glen Lipka from Marketo talks about how to optimize the desktop user experience in a fun presentation with lots of primates!

Get the unexpected wow when showing your app to achieve loyalty.

See Layout managers on the ExtJS docs to cover layouts.  Here are some highlights to consider.

  • Global Nav should have maybe 4-6 components max
  • Use TreeNav on the left side
  • Use tabs to show local navigation
  • Show toolbar to have actions inside that tab
  • Canvas is the main area from the treenav actions
  • Aux tools are action oriented things that go on the right side
  • The drawer goes at the bottom to use for charting to complement stuff on the canvas

Mashup desktop and Web apps to create the Webtop application.  Web = Fold.  Percent of viewing time is spent on content above the fold (avoid scrolling!).  Accordions are your friend for a crazy, busy form to keep it in the “fold”.

Owning UX is how you do the one thing you do well instead of how many options you have in an application.

You may have to take a few steps backward (i.e., invest in the technology) before things can get better.  Get to “Global Max” island requires you to get in the ocean to get off “Local Max” island.

The Halloween Principle suggests that users are constantly distracted to spend attention on your application, even if it’s completely spelled out.  He suggests that users are not being intentionally being stupid.

User research suggests that users our horrible judges of their own reality.  It is better to watch and learn what a user does to understand how to create an application for them.  You can’t validate an idea through a few people.

Users don’t read!  They skim at best.  Don’t expect them to read long instructions.  You can use some tricks by using humor or making the action “fun to use” with simple demos including 1-2 minute videos.

It’s the little things that matter in your app.  Lots of smaller features make a customer happy than 1 huge feature.

Nice additions include easter eggs, keyboard shortcuts, drag-n-drop, and details.

Referrals (see Crossing the Chasm) should come from evangelists that are big proponents for your product.

Don’t design for the advanced user but instead target the middle by saving clicks and making the app easy to use.

Remove system friction to help users reach their goals.  Users will thank you later for this.

80% rule – get them the majority of the things they want (see Paradox of Choice). Limit the cognitive load on users with too much crap on the page.

Engineers and designers are distinctly separate roles that must have a good relationship together.


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