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 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.