There is no absolute right or wrong approach to designing the user experience in the reporting variable screens. However, there are a few aspects guaranteed to attract complaints about usability and confidence in the overall reporting solution.
- Consistent and unique text descriptions, accurately aligned to a singular business meaning. Enabling more natural creation of a data dictionary, simplifying training and improving intuitive use of the reports.
- Leverage a global variable sequence template across the reports. There’s rarely any ‘thanks’ for doing it, but often complaints when it isn’t.
- Variable screen fields should offer lists of values to choose from, that reflect my current authorisation profile. Don’t show me a global list of values to choose from, if I can’t execute the report for some of those values.
- Lists of variable values that are intuitive for human readability. When it is just a code, the text description should be made available for selection and searching.
- Need for easy sharing of global bookmarks (pre-defined variable configurations) with fellow users. Reporting data raises questions, and a users day should be spent pursuing business answers, not documenting how to re-execute reports.
Pro-active consideration and implementation of these 5 aspects does improve the reporting variable user experience, from day one.