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Did you know that Solitaire was included in Windows to teach people how to drag and drop?

I was told this bit of trivia after trying to explain to a user how to zoom in on the graph in eTemperature. To anyone who has seen it once, it’s really easy. But for a person who has never seen it, has never really experienced drag and drop, and is new to the software, a simple task is nearly impossible.

In this case a training video will work wonders.

But what else can we be doing to make the software easier to use? We are now discussing this issue. And sometimes it is a matter of selecting the lesser of two evils.

For example, do we put more written instructions on the screen? In theory it would help, but then the screen becomes more cluttered and people don’t read it anyway. The popup hint is meant to help with this, but only if the person knows to hover over the field.

And as we write the new software for the wireless temperature logger we are currently tossing up between a feature that some users will find really helpful, but then adds to the complexity of the software.

For example, if I assume multi-user, multi-location then I need to think about security and permissions. But if it is only for one person at one location then they want immediate access and no extra complexity.

So there aren’t any magical answers to ease of use. But if anyone has any suggestions, please let us know.