User Experience Insights
Fault Tolerance in User Interface Design
User Interface Design has gained traction since the advent of Mobile Applications. The need to make the experience for the users of the User Interfaces over web is now more a necessity than an additional feature. Over the past years the term which has replaced UI design is UX or User Experience. UX in the colloquial term, encompasses all the aspects of UI design which shall ensure a better experience for the actual end users.
In my work, I fixate my attention on making the experience smooth and ensure the perimary purpose of the users is fulfilled with ease. I draw inspiration in design from the day to day experiences with products and services. An aspect I admire in some of the products in “Fault Tolerance”.
Fault tolerance refers to the ability of a system to continue operating without interruption when one or more of its components fail. In my opinion, it is the ability for have the ability to recover and adapt in case of failure of one or more aspects. Our human body is the best use case to exemplify the fault tolerance adapting to falls and hurts.
An aspect, which I have ignored but always desire is Fault Tolerance. Its strange that everytime I drop the remote, I never seem to realise its inherent property of fault tolerance. Most times, one can put the pieces together and it starts to work. Software of all should be more fault tolerant than the hardware world around us. But, for some reason, software breaks more often due to our lack of attention to adverse user scenarios.
Everytime we have a the UI which often loads data from a service, we should have a backup if service does not work. Everytime we have a UI loading, we should also consider a network offline scenario in the middle. If so, have a default page to highlight offline status of the network. Everytime, we have input controls, consider adverse input and handle the errors graciously. Not always been advisory but provide suggestions. We should exhibit trust in user’s intelligence but also have counter measure for an inadvertent behavior or odd scenarios.
The situations can be handled in design and .also during the development. The responsibility definitely lies on the designers but also on the developers to consider the scenarios (Else Scenarios) at all times and provide a backup option in the available technical environment. As a developer and designer, I get the feeling which doing the activity to put in effort for the scenarios. However, procrastination and penchant to deliver working solution puts the options on the back burner. Eventually, they fall out of memory and remain as “What could have been” solutions.
Each one of us can develop great solutions which can usable and accessible. It requires self-initatives and a supportive environment. Since environment is not in our control, we can atleast start with our selves pushing the envelope. Speak out for a better designed solutions.