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DataClean (NameClean) - Awkwardness in the Interface


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#1 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 11:56 AM

In some ways, the production version of DataClean (NameClean) is much better than the beta. It's clear that RM listened and tried to address usability problems that users discovered in the beta. Nevertheless, I think the production version has its own set of problems in the user interface.

 

First of all, I'm so incredibly pleased that DataClean (NameClean) supports Named Groups. One of the biggest problems with the beta was that it would only operate on the whole database, which for many databases was far too many individuals for a user to deal with at the same time. On the other hand, the beta made it very easy to look at one person at at time; to accept, to reject, or to modify RM's proposed cleaning; and to proceed quickly to the next person. The user interface for the production version has made this latter process very awkward and extremely clicky.

 

Here's what happens. Suppose a suggestion comes up that you want to accept (the most common case). No longer can you just click an "accept" button that is located nearby the suggestion that you are looking at. Instead, you have to click a check box in a list of names that is far removed on the screen from where the suggestion is located on the screen. You have to move your eyes to find the place to click. Then, having clicked your approval the cleaning process does not automatically advance to the next person as it did in the beta. So you have to click again on the person just below the person you just approved to advance to the next person. Finally, you have to reorient your eyes again much lower on the screen to see the next suggestion. The failure to advance to the next person automatically is certainly very  unfriendly, but I think the continuous reorientation of the eyes is even a worse problem than the extra clicking to advance to the next person.

 

In the case of the beta, any NameClean suggestions you approved were applied immediately. With the production version, any suggestions you approve are saved up until the end and you apply all the approved changes at once. For the time being, I'm reserving judgement on whether this aspect of the user interface is better or worse than the beta, or just different..

 

In summary, the support of Named Groups is a huge improvement over the beta. The extra clickiness and especially the extra eye movements are several steps backard from the beta. And it's not clear whether delaying the application of approved changes till the end is an improvement or a step backward as compared to the beta. Finally, one of the needed improvements identified in the beta process was the ability to edit the person for whom the suggestion is being made or otherwise to be able to see the person in context (parents, children, spouses, etc.). With some of the NameClean suggestions, this would be important information to know before approving or modifying the suggestion. However, the production version of NameClean did not address this issue.

 

Jerry



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 12:51 PM

I need to stand partly corrected on some of my comments (maybe :) ). For the most part, you can just leave your eyes on the list of names rather than focusing on the NameFind edit screen. That way, your eyes don't have to jump all around.  However, .....

 

I think there is an actual bug, not a design feature, that if fixed would allay most of my concerns about the new Namefind user interface. Namely, suppose you work as follows. When the NameClean window first opens up on my monitor, there are five names at the top of the window and the edit screen is below that. You can get more names in the list by increasing the size of the NameClean window. But let's say that there are five names in the list. Look at the first person in the list, compare the Original Name with the Cleaned Name, and click the box to approve the change. Do the same for the second, third, and fourth persons in the list. It's easy, your eyes don't have to go all jumpy around, and you don't really need the NameFind edit part of the screen at all unless you want to modify the proposed Cleaned Name.

 

So far so good. So go to the fifth and last name in the list, compare the Original Name with the Cleaned Name, like what you see, and click the box to approve the change. The list of names scrolls up by one to advance to the next name automatically, and it's happy, happy, happy! Except for one little thing. The name that was fifth out of five in the list and that was just checked to signify approval is not checked after having been scrolled up into fourth place. Instead of four out of the five names in the list being checked with RM awaiting approval for the fifth, only three of the five names are checked. Sad, sad, sad.

 

Surely this is just a bug. If it's just a bug and if it could be fixed easily and quickly, then I would be delighted with all aspects of the NameFind interface except for the inability to go into the Edit Person interface to see the context of the person.

 

Jerry



#3 Vyger

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 03:46 PM

Detailed, concise and honest as usual Jerry.

 

Can I ask if there have been any production changes to PlaceClean?, the screen shot looks exactly the same.


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#4 Renee Zamora

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 06:16 PM

... But let's say that there are five names in the list. Look at the first person in the list, compare the Original Name with the Cleaned Name, and click the box to approve the change. Do the same for the second, third, and fourth persons in the list. It's easy, your eyes don't have to go all jumpy around, and you don't really need the NameFind edit part of the screen at all unless you want to modify the proposed Cleaned Name.

 

So far so good. So go to the fifth and last name in the list, compare the Original Name with the Cleaned Name, like what you see, and click the box to approve the change. The list of names scrolls up by one to advance to the next name automatically, and it's happy, happy, happy! Except for one little thing. The name that was fifth out of five in the list and that was just checked to signify approval is not checked after having been scrolled up into fourth place. Instead of four out of the five names in the list being checked with RM awaiting approval for the fifth, only three of the five names are checked. Sad, sad, sad.

 

 

At first I didn't see this behavior. Then I had to make the row for the 5th person not totally displayed. When I did that the clicking on the part of the box exposed would cause the row to move up. I notice the check box is not checked. So it means it didn't understand my action wasn't just to expose the full row but that I also wanted to check that box. I have noted this behavior in our tracking system.

 

The part on wanting to access the Edit Person screen from the NameClean results is in our tracking system. 


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