The trials of usability trials of SQL Data Compare 6

Don’t you just love them. You write your UI, you think you design you code you fix you bug fix again when testers break everything in sight you perform usability trials on people and they don’t even find that feature you worked on for 2 weeks.

Well ok it’s not quite that bad and this is one of the reasons why we’re so keen on running usability trials for Red Gate tools that we produce. We’ve just started the usability trials for the upcoming SQL Data Compare 6 Alpha and it looks like there’s going to be a bit of work to address some of these problems.

For example, one of the new features I’m really keen on is the ability to ‘pivot’ a table view. So instead of your fields going across the top and your rows going down, your fields now go down and your rows go across. This means that you can see whole row data for tables that have a fair number of fields, really only limited by the height of your monitor. The difficultly we’re getting is what row should people be on when they ‘pivot’ the view?

Initially we thought – hey we’ll make the row that was at the top be the row that is on the left – that’ll work nicely. Nope, people seem to lose track of where they were. OK, so we’ll put them on the current selection – but we can’t do that as the selection may be multiple rows so where should I go?

All very interesting and hopefully we’ll come up with something that you will like. Still at least we’ve got an Alpha and I like opinionated people testing our stuff, please be opinionated.

So as for a little taster here’s a screenshot of the new layout – what do you think?