Tango-A Web application with no back button

Normally I don't comment upon on link to blogs that talk about me or my work, but this one was too much fun to ignore. One of my Nielsen Norman group clients is H& R Block. I recently helped them develop a new form of interaction for their income tax software, one that was so different than their standard approach that they decided to bring it out as its own separate brand: Tango.

The Vice president who initiated the project is Dave Murray. Here is his block on the experience: No Back Button, Dammit!" (sic). Yup, I laid down a number of design axioms for them. Murray started out by insisting this would be an "Emotional Design." Good way to start. I added:

  • No back button
  • No navigation
  • A clear Conceptual Model
  • Error messages that informed, that were reassuring and helpful. No blame
  • The product is fun (as much as income tax can be fun)

Murray added:

  • Software is a story (shades of Brenda Laurel: Interface as theater)

We all added:

  • The product as a persona.
  • Movement and tempo as important components of the experience.