These are the very basic principles we have found to help us create better products and which we try to apply to all parts of Qortex:
Write once, read once, manage nothing, no dead ends, no thresholds
Data you have entered into the system once should be reusable in any form you wish. It should be easy to turn one type of information into another, without copy & paste or retyping
Example: Easily convert a chat → entry → wiki → task.
Don’t show the user things he or she has already seen or read.
Example: If I have read an entry I don’t want to see the content of that entry again until I personally decide to do so. If I get a new comment to that entry, I should not have to look at the full entry again, all I want to read is the new comment. If I get updates sent as email and read new entries there, I don’t want to have to mark them as read once again later in the browser when I log in to the system.
Most people don’t want to use a system, but they want to use a system in order to do or achieve something else. People don’t want to spend time managing the system and should usually not need to.
Example: Start with sensible and well working defaults, make the system smart and forgiving, and in most cases you’ll be able to keep the effort to configuring a system at the minimum possible.
No Dead Ends
“Oh, I didn’t think of that” is not a solution. Think of it. Try always to provide for alternatives and “a way out”, so there’s always a next step the user can take to achieve their goal or some alternative that is close enough.
Example: Think of what happens if the user e.g. wants to chat with someone and finds out he or she is offline. Can you provide them with other means of contacting the person right there right at that point? Don’t only think of your perfect workflow, but what if a cricital part is missing or not in the state it should be.
Reduce thresholds to the minimum and more will be done.
Yes, before Qortex you could have copied and pasted text out of a chat client and into an email, but because it is cumbersome people won’t bother. Yes, before the multilingual features, one could have opened up Google Translate and got a machine translation, but again due to laziness people rarely trouble themselves.