Behavioural Pattern: Streamlined repetition
User goal: reducing unnecessary effort/frustration.
Streamlined repetition “gives the user an easy way to repeat things that need to be repeated”. The goal is to reduce frustration and optimise efficiency.
When to consider streamlining tasks
Consider streamlining tasks, when users need to do the same task repeatedly. Especially, if the task is of little complexity and high effort.
Business internal apps are often a culprit of creating high effort tasks. For example, by producing a maze of clicks before allowing to edit customer information. As a result, daily tasks can become tedious.
Streamlining repetitive tasks
Ideally, streamline tasks into a single button click or stroke. Often, you can utilize scripts to automate tasks behind the scenes. As a result, your users only need to trigger a single action or command entry. Naturally, if the efficiency increase is measurable it becomes an easy pitch to executives.
Further, allow user defined shortcuts. Shortcuts are: copy&paste, bookmarking and keyboard shortcuts. Above all, focus on shortcuts users already know (also see: Habituation).
Moreover, give users the ability to reuse components they have previously created. This applies mostly to website builders, text editors and content management systems (CMS). However, even in ERP-systems it might make sense to reuse components or settings. For example, by creating pre-set purchasing settings for recurring orders.
Ultimately, direct observation of your target users will give your the best insights. Identify which tasks they do repeatedly and where they experience frustration.
Streamlined repetition reduces the effort of a task to a minimum. For instance, by reducing UI interaction to a few strokes, swipes and by using automation. Most importantly, establish common, high effort (low complexity) tasks with skilled employees first. Ultimately, this will allow you to achieve measurable results in optimizing efficiency.
- Firstly, establish common tasks with skilled employees.
- Secondly, reduce tasks with scripts and automation.
- Thirdly, increase efficiency with shortcuts.
- Lastly, reduce effort with reusable components.