A polite interaction
I’m a big believer in polite software. So, here’s an interaction that I think is quite polite.
It’s still one of my favorite things I’ve designed. It’s how you’d apply for leave in AccuraHQ, an HRM solution that I was lead on.
I think it demonstrates several polite software points:
- It’s forthcoming. You can see the remaining balanace of your leaves as well as how many you’d take.
- It has common sense, and doesn’t show you leave types you cannot apply for.
- It’s well informed and knows about public holidays and weekends etc.
- It’s fudgable. The dropdown on top allows me as admin to apply for someone else.
In the same style, here’s how you’d inform your team that you are (or were) going to be late:
A few more politenesses:
- It anticipates your needs and presents only the options that require a date in some fashion.
- It’s very responsive.
- It’s focused on the interaction at hand.
- It’s defferential. The final screen allows you to cancel or make adjustments.
- It provides instant gratification by showing an alert and immediately adding the event to the calendar.
- It’s trustworthy, and has an audit log.
Alan Cooper on polite software, excepted from The Inmates Are Running The Asylum is definitely one of the most important books on building software.
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