In this report, we examine well established usability principles for software, how they are routinely violated and what can be done. Contrary to common suggestions, the answer is not more training, ignoring it because engineers can use it as is or simply dismissing the need as a matter of opinion.
Training = Failure
If Video Management Software requires experienced security professionals to be formally trained on using it, than it is not easy to use. Easy to use software enables users to quickly experiment and learn the interface as the user explores it. Multi-day training classes should be considered a vice, not a virtue, reflecting software with poor interface design.
Expert Users Do Not Prove A VMS is Easy to Use
It is common to hear experienced engineers talk about how their favorite VMS is 'intuitive'. This certainly is possible but misses the point. Software ease of use is measured by the time and difficulty new users have to learn software, not the ease with which experts who use an application regularly have using it.
Easy to Use is Not Simply A Matter of Opinion
Many people think 'easiness' is just a matter of taste or opinion (Joe's favorite color is blue but Mary's is pink, etc., etc.)
To the contrary, human-machine interaction and user interface design has been developed over the past 50 years. There are broadly agreed upon principles that software developers should follow. Here are a few of the most cited works in the field:
It is likely that many VMS developers are simply ignoring these well established principles.
Video Management Ease of Use
In this premium report, we examine the most basic principles and demonstrate how they are routinely violated resulting in user experiences that are both frustrating and cumbersome. We analyze and demonstrate issues with two of the largest IP video providers - Mobotix and Milestone.
End users and integrators should consider difficult to use VMS software to be primarily the fault of the software developers, not of users.