This summer, we said goodbye to PawPrints (sad) and hello to MyPrint (potentially sadder?). I actually was confronted by this change literally this morning, when I had to print something for a meeting I was having later and was promptly and extensively confused for a longer time than to be expected for a task as menial as printing two pages of a PDF.
When I first log in, I land on the Summary page. While some of the info on here is useful (overall balance), and some of it is informational (environmental impact), I feel that the rest of it takes up way too much space and is information that I don’t really need immediate access to. Additionally, my main purpose for logging into MyPrint in the first place is to print, and to get to this functionality, the user has to click to the bottom-most tab: Web Print.
The Web Print tab prompts you to submit a job to be printed. Given that the user has previously used PawPrints before, this is pretty standard, and you would expect to be immediately prompted to upload the file you want to print. However, things get a bit more confusing when you start going down this flow.
After you click the “Submit Job” button, you are automatically taken to a page where you are prompted to “select a printer.” This is where I got really confused when I first used this site: at first glance, these printer names seem pretty intimidating, and I’m left with a bewildered feeling about whether choosing one of the options will result in my print job being completed at a random printer that I would then have to track down. It took me a second to realize that selecting a printer just meant choosing what I would like my print job to look like, but as a part of this print flow, this page is not intuitive at all.
Even after you select a printer, you still have to go through more clicking:
The second part of the Web Print flow consists entirely of deciding how many copies you want to print. Personally, I don’t think that this option warrants an entire new page you must click through before you finally reach what you wanted to reach all along: file upload.
Past this point, things become straightforward again: your print job is queued up, and you can go to any printer, swipe your Brown ID, and print what you need to.
In terms of usability, I wouldn’t rate MyPrint too harshly: it is a change from our beloved PawPrints, but the change itself isn’t too jarring. All the steps, and your progress, are clearly outlined for you in the top right corner, and the tabs on the left are very comprehensive in both name and corresponding icon. Although there are steps that seem unnecessarily convoluted or a little bewildering at first, the learnability rate is quite high. The interface is clean, professional, and simple as well, something that I would definitely associate with a university feature. Through the perspective of the designer, I could potentially defend the excessive steps as a tactic to make sure that the user knows exactly what and how they are printing their document. By extending the length of the flow, the designer is ensuring that all steps are clearly communicated; I believe that this can still be done with a few minor changes.
The main edits I would make would probably be to simplify the flow by combining elements, change the landing page, and labelling things in a friendlier way.
I would suggest making the Web Print tab the landing page, since it contains the functionality the user originally wants to access. This page could include also include aspects of the original Summary tab, such as account balance — information that the user would want to know before printing, yet shouldn’t have to click out of the print tab to access. Once the user clicks on “Submit a Job,” they should be able to edit their print options in one page. The printers should be renamed to more understandable choices, and this page could also ask for the number of copies, so as not to overcomplicate the flow. After these options are selected, the user can be redirected to upload their file and ultimately print in a more streamlined, less confusing way.