One of the main themes for QlikView.next is Gorgeous and Genius. The Gorgeous part of this theme is not only about having a beautiful surface; it equally refers to a product that feels as good as it looks. With the next generation of QlikView our ambition is to create a user experience that supports the way people naturally approach data analysis, both when creating views of the data and when analyzing it. A very important part of this is to ensure that QlikView.next focuses on usability and by such provides a natural user experience.

 

So what is usability in QlikView.next?

 

Usability Maze.jpgUsability is about people being able to quickly orient themselves and find what they are looking for. It ensures people can intuitively understand what to do and how to do it in order to achieve a certain goal. People will make mistakes as part of the learning process, which is natural and expected. However, good usability means that people will learn from these mistakes quickly and do not have to repeat them when learning what to do. If they take a break from their tasks in QlikView, they should quickly remember what they have learned previously.

 

Usability is also about being efficient on the job. After people have learned a new task, they should be able to do that task efficiently and effectively. When working with repetitive tasks they should not be forced to do unnecessary steps as part of their workflow. It also means that any unintended mistakes due to ambiguities in the UI are minimized. If a mistake has been done, it should be easy and quick to recover from.

 

How do we ensure that QlikView.next focuses on usability?

 

QlikView.next has to be easy to use for everyone, regardless of your background or experience. Hence, we evaluate usability with people from complete novices to QlikView experts. The evaluations also cover all parts of the product: administration, modeling of data, building dashboards, data analysis, etc.

 

Our usability evaluations consist of observing people while they solve pre-defined business tasks in QlikView.next. The tasks are representative of what they would do in the real world, which helps ensure that the observed behaviors are relevant. During this process we also ask them to express how they perceive solving tasks in QlikView.next and how they feel about the overall experience.

 

During usability evaluation we observe how long time tasks take, what the participants find confusing and what errors they might make. By looking at the time a task takes, we can determine if the task is as efficient to perform as we expect it to be. If something is experienced as confusing, it gives us an indication that we need to fine-tune its implementation to help the user learn what to do. Errors indicate that we are potentially giving mixed signals in the UI and that we need to improve it to minimize any errors. At the same time we also observe what is working well and we listen to potential improvements and suggestions from the participants. When working with passionate QlikView users they always have a lot of great ideas and useful suggestions!

 

Usability is a critical part of QlikView.next and by continuously performing in-depth evaluations it will help us ensure that it will be as natural and easy to use as you’d expect from a new generation of QlikView.

Erik Lövquist

The QlikView Journey

Posted by Erik Lövquist May 23, 2013

As part of my work as User Experience Researcher, people tell me about their journeys of learning QlikView. This includes developers creating their first applications for other people, administrators setting up large scale environments and users of business discovery applications. These journeys describe both what people struggle with and what they find easy when using QlikView. Each journey is unique and extremely valuable for us in understanding how people use QlikView and how we can support their working process in the best way possible.

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A particularly interesting trend I’ve seen is that people working within business, e.g., controllers, accountants and sales managers, can also have roles as QlikView developers at their organizations. Compared to the “conventional” developer who has specific IT or software developer skills, people with a background in business face quite different challenges when learning QlikView. For example, they are often not familiar with scripting or visualization techniques and worry a lot about best practices when designing apps. On the other hand, this specific kind of developers has an in-depth understanding of their business and the needs of their company and colleagues. They might struggle with implementing technical solutions but the applications they create are often immediately valuable to the business.

By understanding our different types of users we can create solutions that help people quickly learn and effectively use QlikView regardless of how they approach it. People’s journeys with QlikView are the basis for one of our most valuable design tools for QlikView.next: personas. A persona is a fictional character that represents core characteristics of real users based on research. Our personas at QlikTech describe behaviors and attitudes that we gather from engagements with large number of existing as well as potential users. When creating these personas, we do not only ask what people want but also observe and interview them to understand how we can support their needs efficiently and effectively.

Our personas give our different kinds of users names, faces and feelings rather than merely being a “type” or a categorization. They provide presence and influence from our users at all stages of the design and development process. The personas cover novice, intermediate and expert users and our aim is to provide solutions that can support them all when learning and working with QlikView.next.

Do you have your own journey to share or seen any similar trends when working with QlikView? Let us know in the comments below!

As a kid I really enjoyed playing video games (and still do!). Almost as enjoyable was to watch other people play. What made it so enjoyable was to share their emotions and experiences as they tried to beat the game. These experiences often turned into elaborate stories that we shared over and over again amongst ourselves and with other friends.

In my job as a user experience researcher in QlikTech’s product management team, I have the privilege of going through a similar process on a regular basis. I get to listen to and share people’s experiences and feelings about using QlikView. I get to learn what their jobs are like in general. They tell me about what they are trying to achieve, how they try to achieve it, and why (or why not) QlikView was helpful during this process. These are passionate people who hold many valuable experiences. Us understanding them is fundamental to “QlikView.next” (the code name for the next generation of the QlikView Business Discovery platform) fully supporting their needs and expectations.

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To me, QlikView.next is not about technology and features. It is about addressing people’s needs in the best way possible. I strive to ensure that our designs help people achieve things in their working lives effectively and efficiently. Understanding peoples’ abilities and expectations helps me to guide our designers to create experiences that are pleasant and enjoyable and at the same time fit people’s working lives. We want to maximize peoples’ achievements and minimize their efforts in reaching their goals with Business Discovery using QlikView.next.

I’m very excited to be a part of the QlikView.next team. Our driving force is designing for real people’s needs. Stay tuned – I’ll be writing more about our people-centric product design approach here on the Business Discovery blog.

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