Modernizing Enterprise SaaS at a Big Bank
Practical design patterns and principles accrued from three years of on-the-job experience re-designing robust applications
Considerations for long forms
Smart defaults save thousands of micro-seconds
Turn the experience into a platformer: let them jump to their desired section
Avoid page scrolling: keep what’s important in the rear-view mirror
A sense of progress makes anything feel less like a boss fight
Leverage plate tectonics: what users see should shift and change as they interact
Considerations for data-intensive views
Scrap equal-weight tables for hierarchical lists of key:value pairs
Let them move the curtain in either direction with expandable/collapsable sections
Focus on getting ‘Search’ right: don’t throw everything into a single field
Steal patterns from the tools everyone uses: tabs, filters and progressive disclosure
Considerations for navigation
Focus on getting words right: use card sorting to validate your information architecture
Backtracking better be a breeze: get breadcrumbs right
Avoid mouse tightrope walks: make progressive menu items easy to explore
Manage focus, suss out keyboard blind-spots, and make everything skippable
Considerations for the whole system
Don’t forget the heuristics
- Keep users informed of the system’s status at all times
- Use language common with users, not with systems
- Support undo and redo
- Include training, instructions, guides and support for controls alongside those very controls
- And many more
Use machine-learning and natural language processing to help users avoid errors and complete common tasks faster
- Remember Clippy?
- Think: Turbo Tax
- Small, targeted uses of AI can streamline workflows that would have otherwise taken minutes…or hours!
Accommodate more than one sense: touch, tap, tab, talk…and taste?
Is the application perceivable, operable and understandable to users interacting with it via their:
Be bold. Prototype your ideas. Test with real users.
Discover, record and share patterns that your audience finds most intuitive.
Odds are, other audiences and the designers that service them will benefit from your team’s accrued knowledge.