UI Design. Or Lack Thereof.

This is a bit of a rant but for a company that's constantly banging the drum of design, you can't help but wonder how the incredibly poor UI design in Service Studio came to be.

Look at this:

Here we have the standard Windows UI, gray buttons with round corners. Also note the style of the dropdown box. It's also the standard Windows UI. Sure, they're the "vintage" Windows XP style, but the default.

This is, by the way, how they look these days. And by "these days" I mean since Windows 8. Granted, Service Studio has been around since long before Windows 8, but apparently no one had the time to update the UI during the last 5 years.

Or did they?

Uh. I guess they did!

So, let's see all that's wrong with this dialog box:

1. Can't be used with the keyboard. There's no way to tab your way to the elements panel.

2. The scroll bars don't have the buttons at the top and at the bottom to allow for fine movement.

3. What's up the the button colours?

4. Why is the Cancel "button" not a button? This isn't a web page, why is a button disguised as a link?

5. Why don't the controls in this dialog box, and the dialog box itself use the standard Windows UI? Even if it's the "vintage" XP style. At least there would be some consistency. 

6. Why are the buttons shouting? If you're going to use web conventions for controls, why not for the text?

Now, luckily you won't use that dialog that much, so the fact that it's a mess isn't that much of a problem.

This one on the other hand, you'll be using a lot:

Ok, so.

This one has ALL of the same problems of the previous one, but look at it: no cancel button! Not even a "button".

I mean, it has a useless "Help" button, a button you'll only ever press by mistake, but no "Cancel" button.

And don't even try using the keyboard to navigate this one.

Why? How did anyone think that a dialog box used to change values not having a cancel was a good idea?

And then there's this:

Look ma! No buttons!

Now, you're probably thinking, sure, it would need to be a dialog box too, otherwise the buttons would just look odd and out of place.

Why yes, yes it should! It should totally be a dialog box. Yes, it would be a pretty big one, probably something like the Query Designer in SSMS, but maybe not as cluncky.

This one doesn't even have an OK button, so I guess it "autosaves" the changes? Ok, cool, but what if I just wanted to test something and not actually change anything?

Also, how do I get rid of it after using it? Since, you know, there's not even a OK button...

Oh, and don't even try using the keyboard to navigate this one.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think it's a good idea to modernize the design, and I competely agree that the old Windows XP style definitely looks, well, old, but why reinvent the wheel when Microsoft already did the work of modernizing the UI? Because, look at it, you do use the common Windows dialogs sometimes:

Maybe some consistency so we don't end up with 3 different designs in the same program?

And if you're going to use someone else's design as inspiration, pick someone else other than Google. Pick Apple! Or pick Microsoft, even they do better design than Google.

Anyway, rant over!

Good point.

Outsystems have UI/UX team too, it's time to modernized Service Studio.