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I'm struggling to find the best way to design configuration for our program.

We develop financial software that has quite complex configuration. There are many settings, they are grouped into logical units, divided them into tabs.

But it still seems to me overly complicated. Our goal is to make it understandable for user when he starts the program for the first time and I don't think we are delivering it yet.

The problem is that I don't see how it could be simplified further, all these things have to be set.

We offer a sample where user doesn't have to set anything and just click Build, but if he wants to edit some config he has to do it all.

Do any of the experts here have any thoughts about this?

Thanks in advance.

I'm posting two design proposals, they differ in tabs placement (top vs left), it seems to me that left-tabs is a clearer option.

left tabs enter image description here

top tabs enter image description here

  • Do you have any specific user feedback to support the hypothesis that it's too complicated, or is that an assumption? It does look complicated to me as an outsider, but your users might disagree. – Matt Obee Feb 27 '17 at 12:35
  • You don't clearly state the user's problem. One question that I have if the user has to pass through all the steps or not. Having the menu on the left helps in order to give me more information to the user comparing to the top one, but the top one looks cleaner. Is the naming enough so that the user can understand? I really don't like the data screen: Maybe this one will help to make it cleaner uxdesign.cc/design-better-forms-96fadca0f49c#.vishfymnc – Dimitra Miha Feb 27 '17 at 13:32
  • thank you for valuable input. You are right that the question is quite generic, I don't know exactly what to improve, only that I want it simpler. Anyway, you gave me ideas to make it cleaner and also to to think about more fundamental changes and somehow add also "pleasurable" component into the program as Mindaugas Vaiciulis suggested. – Mark Feb 28 '17 at 15:18
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I do agree with answers above. Question is a bit too generic and you do not state about initial user feedback. Could that be just an assumptions?

I'll try to suggest you how you could go from "complicated" to "delightful"

But it still seems to me overly complicated. Our goal is to make it understandable for user when he starts the program for the first time and I don't think we are delivering it yet.

WHAT IS DELIGHTFUL?

enter image description here

http://uxmastery.com/formula-delight/

Be Smart

  • Anticipate my needs and be one step ahead of me. It’s unexpectedly nice when a product knows what I’m trying to do before even I do.

  • Use technology wisely to do things automatically and intelligently. Don’t make me do a lot of manual work to get things done.

  • Prevent me from making errors. Don’t blame me for doing something incorrectly. Make resolving problems easy and friction-free.

  • Be smart and figure out what you need to know without making me give it to you. Don’t ask me to give you superfluous information about myself.

Be Friendly and Helpful

  • Give your product a personality through humor and a friendly tone. I don’t want to be using another stale and boring product. Make me smile.

  • Speak to me like you would if you were talking to a friend. Humanize your product. Corporate and technical terms are frustrating to read.

  • Go above and beyond when I need to contact you for help. Don’t just give me automated responses. I want to feel like you care.

  • Find ways of turning negative experiences back into positive experiences. Things can and will go wrong, but leave me feeling positive about your organization by responding in a helpful way.

Be Engaging

  • Pay attention to the details. Don’t always go for the “easy” or expected approach when a little something extra could create a better experience. Focus on the little big details.

  • Use clever and useful way that supports users task.

Be Consistent

  • Make your product consistently fast to load and use. I don’t want to have to wait around to get things done, and any delay will impact my experience.

  • Be consistent across the entire product ecosystem. Consistency builds trust, and trust breeds loyalty.

  • Delight can’t be achieved if that trust is broken.

  • i have nothing particular to point my finger to but this is a very, very useful post.All infos but the whole tone especially. – dee zg Apr 13 '18 at 19:59

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