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Designing usable systems is more than just designing for success - a truly usable system not only helps users do what they need or want to do, it also helps them avoid mistakes.

I was reminded of this today reviewing development. We have a brilliant system called Subversion, which we use for change tracking on all the development work we do. But try as I might, I'm struggling to make sure that everyone - myself included - remembers to write a log entry describing each change being made.

The solution was less than 20 lines  - a script on the server which won't allow anyone to save their changes unless they write a log entry to go with the changes.

Problem solved - no more forgetting to write log entries.

That's the power of great UX design - it's sometimes the simplest changes which make all the difference.

Posted by Rob Walters on 15 March 2013
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