Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Customer service

"In the business world it's called 'customer service', but really it's just doing Jesus' ministry."

-Mike Riches

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Problems escalated from helpdesk

I don't want to be awkward or unreasonable, but if a problem is being escalated from a help desk there is a certain amount of information that I would expect to have been gathered. I'm not just being picky. It saves time in the long run and means that the customer/user gets a better experience.

Information about the caller/customer/user:
  • Their name
  • The company they work for (possibly)
  • How to contact them (phone no, email, etc.)

About the issue:
  • Which program?
  • Which version?
  • What is happening?
  • How can it be recreated?
  • What were they expecting?
  • What steps need to be taken to recreate the issue?
  • What has been tried already to address the issue?
  • What has changed?
  • When did the issue start?
  • Does it occur on one, some or all machines?
  • Is it a consistent or occasional issue?
  • What impact does the issue have on the user(s)?
And probably more besides...

Splash screens

Don't have a timer on a splash screen!
They should only be used to indicate something is happeneing in the background and the application has actually started. Displaying for any longer than is absolutely necessary is a waste of the users time and shows that you think it is more important for the user to have to stare at a logo than actually use a program to do some work.
It may only be a few seconds, but it adds up.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Date Entry

If you force me to type in a date and require the date be entered in a specific format, but don't tell me what that format is, even in an error message, you shouldn't be allowed to create software.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

EDSK ... you can't fully estimate from just a description of what is wanted

"You cannot write a description of software you want and then have someone develop it on a fixed schedule for a fixed price."
- Robert Martin