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What are we doing?? – Part One

I am doing what we call an Inception for a new project. The situation is not at all unusual.

The Constraints

  • An Organization with a bunch of generic e-commerce platforms
  • Live customer sites on each of these platforms
  • One of these platforms particularly painful
  • Integration with proprietary back-office operations software

The Requirements
Build a custom platform that will replace all the existing ones, support all the customer sites and have a bunch of unique features. And BTW we need to go live in 2 months.

The only way to do this is build a bare bones application that can take a couple of simple customer sites live in 2 months. We can then keep adding to the application and making it richer and better and migrating more customer sites as and when possible.

Now whenever you try to skin an application the first ones to suffer (and rightly so) are the administrators of the system. I say “rightly so” because normal users can potentially be dumb, careless, in a hurry, etc. and the application has to make sure they are doing the right thing.

Administrators on the other hand are trained to maintain the application. They can do without a jazzy UI and help and pointers all over the place. They know how to do their job. We, as designers of the system, take the liberty of trusting them. And in that trust lies the topic of this series.

To be continued…

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