Portal View Usability

21 Jan 2005 - 11:11pm
9 years ago
4 replies
416 reads
Navneet Nair
2004

Is there any study on the usability of Portalized views?

Basically we are looking at collating information from a number of
sources and providing a single view of all actionable items to the
user. One of the common metaphors that come to mind is that of an
inbox, where all action items can reside.

However due to the number of database calls that have to be made,
there has been a suggestion to use a 'portalized' view for this
'workspace'

I'm usually not in favor or a portal that just collects information
for view without providing value-adds in the form of associated tasks,
but this seems to be a popular model in enterprise applications. Is
there any study on this?

Any thoughts?

Regards
Navneet

Comments

22 Jan 2005 - 10:56am
Donna Fritzsche
2005

>
>
>I'm usually not in favor or a portal that just collects information
>for view without providing value-adds in the form of associated tasks,
>but this seems to be a popular model in enterprise applications. Is
>there any study on this?

Navneet,
I think a better way to word the above statement is that it is a common model
(not necessarily popular) model for the out-of-box functionality of
enterprise portal software.
Its not clear to me that the vendors have made an attempt to
accommodate user's needs with this format!

Donna

>Any thoughts?
>
>Regards
>Navneet
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22 Jan 2005 - 11:40am
Navneet Nair
2004

> I think a better way to word the above statement is that it is a common model
> (not necessarily popular) model for the out-of-box functionality of
> enterprise portal software.

I think that would be a more appropriate way of putting it, thanks for
correcting me Donna

> Its not clear to me that the vendors have made an attempt to
> accommodate user's needs with this format!

While providing EAI solutions, one of the easiest way to collectively
present the information is using a portal framework. Usually the
attempt is build a composite process or application that spans
multiple legacy applications.

>From the users from the user's model this is just one application and
hence a portal view might seem inappropriate. But from a programmer's
view point there are more than one applications hence the portal
becomes the 'UI' of choice.

I do not think this is become a problem yet, but on more than one
instance I've been asked to consider a portal for an interface for an
application. Somehow, I've always resisted the idea... Not sure if
there is actually a study that suggests users prefer a portalized
information oriented view over a more task oriented view that an
application presents...

Cheers
Navneet

----------------------------------------------------
Navneet Nair
Interaction Architect
onClipEvent: form follows function();
----------------------------------------------------
Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
Blog: http://www.onclipevent.com/enterframe/

23 Jan 2005 - 4:59pm
Peter Boersma
2003

Naveet asked:
> I'm usually not in favor or a portal that just collects information
> for view without providing value-adds in the form of associated tasks,
> but this seems to be a popular model in enterprise applications. Is
> there any study on this?

In the last couple of years I've been designing web applications that were
accessed through a portal(*). We've had similiar questions and tried to
solve them as follows:

(1) Select a small number of key information items to be shown in the portal
view, with links to act upon them. These should be related to the *key
concepts* of the application.
For example; an application we designed allowed employers to file tax forms
for employees and for the company as a whole. We selected as key information
items the number of employees for which *no* tax form was filed yet, whether
the company tax form package was filed yet, and the number of days left to
complete both sets.

(2) make the application responsible for providing the information that will
be displayed in the portal. This can be done each time one of the key
information items changes -- and the application is the first to know -- so
the portal has *almost* up-to-date information. This relieves the portal
from making the database calls; it could retrieve the key information items
from a flat file if necesary.

Peter
--
Peter Boersma - Senior Information Architect - EzGov
Rijnsburgstraat 11 - 1059AT Amsterdam - The Netherlands
t: +31(0)20 7133881 - f: +31(0)20 7133799 - m: +31(0)6 15072747
mailto:peter.boersma at ezgov.com - http://www.ezgov.com

24 Jan 2005 - 1:36am
Navneet Nair
2004

On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 22:59:22 +0100, Peter Boersma
<peter.boersma at ezgov.com> wrote:
> (1) Select a small number of key information items to be shown in the portal
> view, with links to act upon them. These should be related to the *key
> concepts* of the application.
> For example; an application we designed allowed employers to file tax forms
> for employees and for the company as a whole. We selected as key information
> items the number of employees for which *no* tax form was filed yet, whether
> the company tax form package was filed yet, and the number of days left to
> complete both sets.
>

Thanks Peter, I reckon that is an important point. Once you enable the
user to act upon the information that is being provided, it does
enhance the usability significantly- rather than having a view to the
information and then having to drill down to do the specific task...

Thanks much for the reply...

Cheers
Navneet

----------------------------------------------------
Navneet Nair
Interaction Architect
onClipEvent: form follows function();
----------------------------------------------------
Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
Blog: http://www.onclipevent.com/enterframe/

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