re: McAfee UI Design group wins big w/ 90% drop in support calls

1 Jun 2005 - 4:50pm
9 years ago
3 replies
590 reads
ji kim
2004

I read this article couple of months ago.....first I was glad to seesuch article.

Then I started talking this with my colleagues (more business/marketing folks...).......our conclusion was that 90% seems little high - we felt it was exaggerated. There could be variety of reasons why McAfee didn't receive much support calls - one reason might be people simply didn't really use it.....and list does on. Having spend several years designing products for network security, there isn't much users could do with produts like ProtectionPilot (product mention in article) when there is no network security problems....I liked the fact that this article championed good UI desing process and the benefits, but it just didn't provide enough details on how they derived that number.

ji

Comments

6 Jun 2005 - 9:42am
Peter Merholz
2004

On Jun 1, 2005, at 2:50 PM, ji kim wrote:
>
> Then I started talking this with my colleagues (more business/
> marketing folks...).......our conclusion was that 90% seems little
> high - we felt it was exaggerated.

Hey now! Why are we such doubting Thomases? Why do we assume that the
prior version couldn't be so bad?

Adaptive Path recently redesigned an enterprise application. [I
apologize that I can't be more specific.] It's an application that
supports a business process (so it has a series of steps you must go
through, with associated detours to get the right information, etc.)

In the prior version of this application, it took about 50 uses of it
for the users to "get it". Before they could use it without error.

In the version we developed, it took 1. By the second use, they had
mastered the system. (The process is complex enough that you can't
just get it right out of the gate.)

This is the same process, with the same elements and requirements.
Whereas before it was an engineer-driven design, we conducted user-
centered design. And witnessed that change.

So why is 90% necessarily high? There are many applications,
particularly enterprise applications, where the application of good
interaction design methods can easily affect such change.

--peter

6 Jun 2005 - 11:39am
livlab
2003

> So why is 90% necessarily high? There are many applications,
> particularly enterprise applications, where the application of good
> interaction design methods can easily affect such change.

I think most people responded as users of their products, which I can
relate to, and for that reason I would think that 90% improvement would
be preatty easy to achieve!

Since the app in question has a completelly different audience and is a
product I never heard off, I thought it was a brilliant case study and
was happy and impressed by their 90% results.

We sure are skeptical folks.

6 Jun 2005 - 12:49pm
ji kim
2004

In the case of article in Product Marketing about McAfee reducing their support calls by 90% through their UI design.....well let's think about it.
People call support calls about other problems besides UI problems - if you work at software company (either consumer and enterprise), just ask your support group.
There are things like - backend integration, performance, customization, licensing, installation, and list goes on - which is separate issue from usability issues. So that's why we were skeptical about the article. Again, this is just our personal opinion that based on working on similar product in same industry as product mention in the article.

But I am sure this is not always the case, mabye there are products out there after redesign, it can reduce support calls that high. But to claim such stat - it's nice to have numbers that you can back it up with. Other wise, it just becomes marketing advertisment that's borderline true.

I'm not doubting, McAfee reduced their support calls by better UI design. Mabye they did, and I think that's great :)

Ji

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