Customer Response to Voidworks Ltd. User Manual

Over the past several months, the forging of a partnership between the Springfield Library and Voidworks Ltd., has resulted in work of the highest calibre as well as teaching us librarians the rudimentary processes of software development.

We have had several meetings and have gone over the User Manual supplied by Voidworks Ltd. and have recorded here our reactions to this document.

Amiable Features

  • Error Recognition Section - This section was superb in its clarity and understanding
  • User Manual Icons - These icons were VERY well chosen, and made the sections of the manual very intuitive, and a pleasure to read.
  • Walkthrus - These sections were EXCELLENT! They covered the need-to-know areas of the system, as well as general situations which might arise.
  • Reference - This section was very clear and to the point which enjoyed our "technical" lovers on the staff
  • Glossary - This part of the manual was/is a librarian's dream: well categorized, and clear definitions
  • Screen Shots - Screen shots were excellent and helped IMMEASURABLY in getting a clear visualization of the system.

    Minor Problems

  • Logging On - We had two problems with this section. One, after some carefull revision of the document (and with the help of some of the screen shots), we could not ascertain where the user would actually type in their User Id to the system. We found where passwords were entered but no ability to login as a different user. Another point, was there was no Previous Page button on this screen.
  • Next Page button - It took several passes through the manual to realize that Next Page DID NOT mean the next logical page of the current topic, but rather the next topic. For example, while in the Customer topic, we expected the Next Page button to proceed to Adding a Customer rather than moving on to the next topic, Transaction

    Customer Section - Search Customer

  • Why is "Circulation Status" a search criterion for a customer? We were a little confused to see this, and were wondering if we could have some enlightenment on the subject. (Wasn't "Circulation Status" a book attribute??)
  • Empty search results - We are referring to an unsuccessfull search and the feedback (or rather lack of it) to the user. We think it might be more helpfull to us if we were told that No Matches Found or something similar, just to provide us with the feedback that the system did indeed perform a search.

    Transactions - Borrow a Book

  • Two Search buttons?? - We were a little confused as to what the purpose of having two Search buttons on this screen were. We are under assumption that they perform different functions, but we do not know how to distinguish between them. Will there be a forthcoming mechanism to do this?
  • Error Handling - We also had a question about the fines error handling proposal. Shouldn't there be a maximum allowable ceiling for the customer?? In other words, we wanted to see an error when the customer's fines met or exceeded his maximum allowance.

    Transactions - Paying a Fine

  • Print - We were a little bewildered as to what the Print button would do here. Does this print a receipt for the customer? Can you print more than one receipt at a time in order for us to keep a record of payment on a customer??

    All in all however, the librarians at Springfield Library were impressed with the User Manual, and are eager in awaiting a preview of the system.
    Springfield Library