In any design or development of any form
there is a golden rule, "Form follows function."
This statement is a direct reference to
usability and process flow. Function is what any
process does, form is how that function appears.
Let's look at a quick example of a process
and identify it's form and function. For
our example we will use a basic contact form on
a website. The "function" of the contact form is
to collect information from a user and send the
collected information in the form of a response
to a recipient. The "form", in this case, is how
the contact form is displayed to the user and
how the response is formatted for the recipient.
The entire process of filling out the contact
form, sending it, and receiving it is the
Lets pick this process apart a little more in
the form of a table that shows us the whole
process flow, functions and forms.
Process Flow for Contact Form of a
Collect Contact Information
Website Contact Form
Send Contact Information
Email through Email Server
Receive Contact Information
Email in Recipients Email Box
Every function in the process has a form in
which it appears. All the functions in a process
and how they are organized are the process flow.
Reviewing the functions and forms in a process
and optimizing them for people that us them is
the very essence of usability.
The more complicated a system or process is,
the more attention needs to be given to process
flow and its optimization. If something is
difficult to users, chances are they won't use
it. If your website forms or online shopping
cart require 30 different steps to complete,
there is a good chance that a usability issue
will prevent the use and or purchase of your
products and services.
WSI focuses on usability and process flow
from the very start. Our designers are
constantly asking, why is this step in this
process?, what is this step doing?, does this step
make sense to the user?
To learn more about usability, process flow
optimization, and form or application layout
contact one of our
design specialists at either our Ames, Iowa
(Midwest) or Ft Myers, Florida (Southeast)