email us call +43-1-523 35 98-0 contact GP GP designpartners GP logo
k2 — an user-adaptable database client

k2

an user-adaptable database client

client:

trenkwalder ag

project lead:

peter purgathofer

design team:

rudolf greger,

tom haberfellner,

nestor pridun,

peter purgathofer,

rainer schöngruber,

jürgen spangl,

christian stanek

k2 is a database client for the biggest staffing service in austria. usually database clients are driven by the structure of the underlying database design. we focused on the users needs in the special situation of handling many applicants with varied backgrounds and on the task to find and choose the right one efficiently in a multi user environment across different offices.

after conducting an user research we isolated three major goals for the new database client:

  • the user must be able to adapte the software to his working style
  • daily work routines must be supported
  • recurring workflow should be automated

this and the typical shortcomings of generalized databases in large organisations [lack of flexibility, lack of integration into daily work, lack of integration into working environment] and database software in general [inconsistent chunking of data driven by the underlying database structure; the visual noise of grafical elements introduced to overcome the inconsistency; unfortunate field labeling] made us rethink database clients and come up with alternative concepts to the usual "input- and querymask"-design.

key findings from user research

after conducting an user research we isolated three major goals for the new database client:

  • the user must be able to adapte the software to her working style
  • daily work routines must be supported
  • recurring workflow should be automated
cargoo — interaction design speeds up the loading procedure of a closed double-decker car-carrier wagon dpm 9600 — a digital voice recorder with barcode scanner and docking station
screenshot of k2

tickets

tickets disconnect the database structure from the input/display of the data. a ticket allows the user to choose and arrange those data meaningful and reasonable, which — from her view — belong together for a specific task.

marker

markers expand the mere structured information in the database with addional information attached to specific details of applicants like post-its, eg 'call back in 2 weeks' attached to the phone number. they can be visually perceived and will trigger the implied actions, eg pop-up on the specific day, whilst providing all the necessary information. these meta-information are accessible both inside and outside the applicants data, thus becoming a tool to passively assist the personal workflow.

smartfields

are a combination of field lables, input fields and the visualisation of the entered data. they assist the user to transform vage, incomplete input into unambiguous, complete and consistent data. they optimize the display of the data and foster easy, fast and convenient reading and visual searching.

clippings

clippings allow users to articulate queries with "hard" criteria and "soft" in/exclusion of applicants. those clippings can be saved, reused and edited. this allows users to review old clippings and reuse them in an analytical and constructive way ["we need a similar applicant to the one from last week"]