Get out of my way and let me do my work!

While working last night, I needed to view a video demo, and I was presented with this message from Windows Media Player:


I hadn’t done any updates, or installs, so I have no idea why Media Player decided that I needed to log off and back on. Notice that it’s not saying I have to reboot – just log off and back on.

All I know is that it completely interrupted my flow.

I feel the same way when clicking on a link on a web page and all of a sudden a PDF file starts loading. PDF? WTF? What’s wrong with HTML? I’m on a web page! Again, it completely interrupts my flow.

As builders of software, we need to be cognizant of this. Are we enabling? Or are we throwing up roadblocks that impede the user’s workflow? We need to focus on how the user feels. Help the user kick ass. In this case, by helping the user to spend more time in the flow.

OK. Now it’s time to log off, log back on, view the video that I wanted to, and try to get back in the flow…