The Importance of a Booking Confirmation and Careful Communication

rsvp

With booking systems there are a lot of important things that will make a system successful – good operational speed – a well designed table structure – great UI and good stability but without really really great communication and confirmation with the customer you’re missing a golden opportunity.

I would argue that wedding invites represent the absolute gold standard in organising communication between parties in what is essentially a booking contract.

* Firstly you give the responsibility of organisation to a responsible and motivated party who is familiar with the whole process and why they are doing what they are doing.
* Then great care is taken in the timing of when items should be sent out (not too long before not too short)
* Addresses of all parties are carefully and thoroughly checked
* Extreme care is taken in the wording and importantly formating of communications (and often flexible and personal messages included for specific parties)
* Extreme clarity is taken to ensure party’s know who to contact if their circumstances change and RSVPs come back to the persons that sent them out.
* Direct contact is encouraged in situations lacking clarity
The RSVP process is formalised to reduce confusion ensuring that the original party can identify who communications come back from and simplified to require the minimum amount of effort on the part of the guest.
* All the while the process is constantly overseen by senior management who have complete visibilty and problems are tackled when they arise.

A good booking confirmation will act not only as a great piece of promotion for the organisation (you have the attention of the individual concerned they are listening to every word you write) but superb quality and clarity reduces confusion, reduces the requirement for clarifying further work resulting in less errors, increases the likelihood that the individuals will return to do business, probably will encourage them to book more courses and give confidence that the contract will be actually carried out.

To my mind this kind of detail should be born in mind for all system communications.

An important consideration when designing new systems.

A Story about User Interface Design

At work we recently moved to a new building which has been adapted several times, some spaces have had multiple uses and multiple security level changes. The present use of rooms is different from the original design. As a result walking down the corridor requires a combination of pressing buttons, waiting for automatically opening doors or simple manual operation.

I can see new people coming down the corridor and people regularly get caught out by at least one door waiting for a manual door to open automatically or alternatively trying to manually open the automatic doors one set of which have heavy hydraulics.

Light relief when I am having my lunch.

UI design

BANISH DOUBLE CLICKING – My UI Design Patterns

doubleclick

I eluded to it in my last post but when I have tabulated forms I like to have the labels activated and set to sort alphabetically ascending on left click and descending on a right click.

I use the mouse down event as trigger for this.

If Button = acLeftButton Then

Me.OrderBy = "Q001Contacts.CompanyName, Q001Contacts.Surname, Q001Contacts.Firstname"
Me.OrderByOn = True

Else

Me.OrderBy = "Q001Contacts.CompanyName DESC, Q001Contacts.Surname DESC, Q001Contacts.Firstname DESC"
Me.OrderByOn = True

End If

I use this pretty much on every single tabulated form that I have – This is not so different from Outlook or Itunes. What is different is that I tend to use a slightly more intelligent sort. In the above code you can probably see that for this particular column (its the company column) I first sort on company then I sort on the surname of the individual and then on the first name. I find it frustrating on things like Itunes or Outlook that you can be left searching around within a sort category sometimes as it is unclear what order within the sort that things are arranged by.

I use the left and right click rather than double because I used to find that double clicking would first sort the list one way and then immediately sort the other. A double click I believe sends mixed messages to the system and encourages lag. I still hate the idea of double clicking on things.

If I could change one thing about standard UI design it would be to get rid of the double click!!!

Needless to say I have banished double clicking from all my UIs.