I am finally nolonger on a project that I really disliked. I had been on the project for 5 months with my role being to configure the software to meet the user's needs. A huge task in this seemingly simple task was a lot of data entry; that could be entry of a user's account information or population of a myrid of other tables and values requireed by the application. The main problem was not so much in the volume of data that the system required but in the manner in which the system was designed to take the data. The system had a very poor user interface. On example of where the interface failed was in the task of creating a user account. After entering a user's name and mocing to the next field I was immediatly prompted to save or discard that change. Saving the change resulted in the user editor closing and I had to reopen it, find the user I was modifying, and change the next property and answer that prompt again. I had to be able to convey the level of inefficiency of this interface to others on my team otherwise any slowness in completing a task could be percieved as being from an inadequacy on my part.
To state "The interface in this system is bad, I don't like it" may not be well received. The statement sounds subjective and can be evaluated as nothing more than some one complaining. To sufficiently communicate the state of the interface I needed to show that it was poor objectivly. But a problem with user interface design is that much of it is performed subjectivly without much evaluation of the objective attributes of the interface. I believe that part of this could be from people simply not knowing that there are objective evaluations for a User Interface. There's several methods of evaluating user interface efficiency. I won't bother to name them here, rather I will refer you to the book "The Humane Interface" written by Jef Raskin (the developer of he Macintosh interface, and the 31st employee of Apple Computer). Raskin covers both interface metrics and his philosiphy when it comes to designing and comparing user interfaces.
Being armed with this knowledge I was able to express with hard numbers the inefficiency of the user interface in this product and point out where the designers went wrong and show how it could have been improved. While the developers of this product did not make the suggested improvements during my time on the project I was able to properly set expectations for completion. That's very important to me since meeting expectations is onf of the performance metrics by which I am measured.