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Usability, HCI and Isos

Software Development, Technology

Hello World! This is Nick Nader, and I recently joined the Isos Technology team as a solution engineer.

As a 3 year alumnus of Penn State’s Information Science and Technology College, software professional, and lifelong technology user, I have discovered that there is one pertinent facet of software that is grossly underrated: usability.

After recently joining Isos, it did not take me long to realize that Isos was a family with their arms wide open. As I went through on-boarding, it was intuitive to join the team. With an excellent hands-on mentor, an internal team to be a part of immediately, and several coworkers reaching out to graciously offer assistance whenever needed, Isos, so to speak, was new user friendly.

This immediate and familiar feeling upon arrival is akin to using a software tool that was developed and maintained with the user in mind. With exposure to dozens of software programs that handle issue tracking, version control, content sharing, and collaboration during my 3 years of working in software QA, Atlassian’s Jira stuck out among the masses.

Affordance, a term associated with Human Computer Interaction by Don Norman in The Design of Everyday Things, refers to easily perceivable actions by the user when exploring a user interface for the first time. Just like I know I could ask my new coworkers for help without them even explicitly offering it, and they would jump to assist a new team member, so too do I know, in any intuitive software program, that when I press a cog icon, Ill be taken to the settings or preferences.

These affordances are the foundation of a good welcome package, whether they are a team’s proactivity with new members or a software program’s use of common icons that anyone could recognize to denote important potential user actions. When you open a new piece of software or a new website, there is a comfort in being able to so easily and quickly orient yourself with the interface. Atlassian’s software suite gives me this comfort with the level of usability they achieve in every product.

After working for two companies, the third time was the charm, and with Isos I also get this warm, comfortable feeling from an awesome cultural foundation that welcomes new team members like they are already part of the family.

TAGS: Software Development, Technology

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