Using the guidelines from this discussion and other sources, evaluate the usability of the page design depicted in PE
Jim Watanabe, project director for the â€œNo Customer Escapesâ€ customer loyalty system for Petrieâ€™s Electronics, walked into the conference room. Sally Fukuyama, from marketing, and Sanjay Agarwal, from IT, were already there. Also at the meeting was Sam Waterston, one of Petrieâ€™s key interface designers.
â€œGood morning,â€ Jim said. â€œIâ€™m glad everyone could be here today. I know you are all busy, but we need to make some real progress on the customer account area for â€˜No Customer Escapes.â€™ We have just awarded the development of the system to XRA, and once all the documents are signed, they will be coming over to brief us on the implementation process and our role in it.â€
â€œIâ€™m sorry,â€ Sally said, â€œI donâ€™t understand. If we are licensing their system, whatâ€™s left for us to do? Donâ€™t we just install the system and weâ€™re done?â€ Sally took a big gulp of coffee from her cup.
â€œI wish it was that easy,â€ Jim said. â€œWhile it is true that we are licensing their system, there are many parts of it that we need to customize for our own particular needs. One obvious area where we need to customize is all of the human interfaces. We donâ€™t want the system to look generic to our loyal customersâ€”we need to make it unique to Petrieâ€™s.â€
â€œAnd we have to integrate the XRA system with our own operations,â€ added Sanjay. â€œFor example, we have to integrate our existing marketing and product databases with the XRA CRM [see PE Figure 6-2]. Thatâ€™s just one piece of all the technical work we have to do.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve already done some preliminary work on system functionality and the conceptual database,â€ Jim said. â€œI want to start working on interface issues now. Thatâ€™s why Sam is here. What we want to do today is start work on how the customer account area should look and operate. And, Sally, the customer loyalty site is a great opportunity for marketing. We can advertise specials and other promotions to our best customers on this site. Maybe we could use it to show offers that are only good for members of our loyalty program.â€
â€œOh yeah,â€ Sally replied, â€œthatâ€™s a great idea. How would that look?â€
â€œI have ideas,â€ said Sam. Using a drawing program on a tablet PC, he started to draw different zones that would be part of the interface. â€œHere at the top we would have a simple banner that says â€˜Petrieâ€™sâ€™ and the name of the program.â€
â€œItâ€™s not really going to be called â€˜No Customer Escapes,â€™ is it?â€ asked Sally.
â€œNo, thatâ€™s an internal name,â€ replied Jim, â€œbut I donâ€™t know what the real name will be yet.â€
â€œOK, so the real name of the program will go in the banner, after â€˜Petrieâ€™s.â€™ Then on the left side, weâ€™ll have a sidebar that has overview information about the customer account, things like name and points balance,â€ said Sam, drawing in a sidebar on the left of the screen. â€œThere will also be links to more detailed information about the account, so the customer can see more details on past transactions and on his or her profile.â€
â€œSo the rest of the screen is open. That would be a perfect place for marketing information,â€ suggested Sally. â€œWould we want just one big window for marketing? Maybe we could divide it up into additional windows, so we could use one to focus on general promotions and one to advertise â€˜member onlyâ€™ promotions?â€
â€œYeah, we can do that,â€ said Sam.
Just then Jimâ€™s phone beeped. Jim looked at it. Uh-oh, it was an urgent message from his boss, the director of IT. â€œSorry, I need to take care of this immediately,â€ he told the group. â€œCan you guys work on this some more and then send me some of the screen designs you come up with?â€
Later that afternoon, after the crisis was over, Jim sat back down at his desk for the first time in what seemed like a very long time. He glanced over his e-mail and noticed there was a message from Sam. Attached was a preliminary design for the customer account area. Jim opened it and looked it over (PE Figure 8-1). Hmmm, not bad, he thought. This is a good place for us to start.