Desinging for spreadsheet-loving, information-density-obsessed engineers. How bad can it be?
When a designer hears the words “product lifecycle and manufacturing management”, they are not exactly overwhelmed with joy. The fact is, they most likely don’t know what you are talking about.
When we got on board with Aligni, we’ve had quite a lot of research and education on the matter to do ourselves, before we could start redesigning its user interface.
The most interesting part of this process was getting used to the way engineers are working with user interfaces, and how they value density over clarity. They are information processing machines who call Excel their “happy place”. The mindset switch that we had to make from “making things as obvious as possible” to “we need to fit at least 17 rows into this fold” was quite a new experience.
Our main takeaway was that Aligni is not an application meant for general public use. It requires people to learn how to use it. And that's OK.
Once this simple fact clicked, it was like a huge weight fell off our shoulders, and in fact it was a huge revelation for us. We were so used to designing for the lowest common denominator, that we completely disregarded the power users, and power users are the priority here.