Sunday, July 22, 2007

Don’t rely on that Access wizard that creates a form based on your table…

It may be the easiest, neatest little way to get going quickly. Using the “AutoForm” wizard may seem like the best way to create a form, but it is generally going to lead to the worst user experience. Sure, you can take the resulting AutoForm and tweak it to be a little more usable, but it’s what we call “data driven design.” A philosophy that dominated (by default, really) user interface design for decades, and is only now departing the world. Data driven design means taking the data you want to store, and throwing an interface for user input over it. User driven design, which I hinted at in a previous post, is the way to create happy users and ensure people are more productive.

Rather than putting a form over a table, user driven design will help you to look at the world from a user-process perspective. You are more likely to discover you need to "merge" multiple data sources the user can view or update in a much more efficient manner. For example, while creating new orders (one table), perhaps you need to let the user quickly view key customer information (from a different table) on the same screen, and be able to make changes to your contact history with that customer (yet another table) from the same screen. All if this is missed if you just rely on the Form Wizard.

And while we’re on the topic, I’d suggest avoiding the Access Switchboard too. Use something a bit more friendly for users.

1 comment:

knicksgrl0917 said...
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