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Notifications keep infrastructure management tasks on track, boosting productivity

KristenReyes ‎11-22-2013 08:14 AM - edited ‎09-30-2015 06:59 AM

Guest blog by Bryan Jacquot, Chief Technologist, HP Converged Systems


Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. For example, a well-designed notification can be a game changer when it comes to managing your converged infrastructure. A simple animated banner and subtly pitched sound alerting you to the completion of a task can keep a project on track and greatly increase your productivity, helping you meet business demands.


Here at HP, we spent over four years working with 150 customers to research how best to design a system that meets the needs of data center professionals.  HP OneView converged infrastructure management software reflects the results of that research. We discovered that even the smallest and seemingly simple features can save a business a significant amount of time and money.


The HP OneView user interface was designed with your multi-tasking work style in mind.  For example, if you start a task and then move on to perform other duties, you may forget to check back to see if the task has completed. You can lose days and even weeks if you don’t know when it’s time to initiate the next step. A missed handoff between a server and storage can cause a big drop in productivity.


What does it take to get your attention?


Research[1]has shown that it takes about two seconds for you to respond to animation that appears in your peripheral vision. At least 90 percent of users will notice an animation sequence lasting 4.4 seconds, provided the animation moves sufficiently fast. This longer animation sequence is especially important for data center managers, who frequently use either one single large display or toggle between multiple displays, making it highly likely that an alert will appear while their attention is on another window.


To catch the eye of busy administrators, HP consulted research done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding flashing seatbelt notification lights in cars. The longer you’re in defiance of putting on your seatbelt, the more frequently the light flashes, and the more annoying it gets. HP determined that the sweet spot for notification frequency; not too long to become annoying, and not too short so it doesn’t get noticed.


Many administrators, of course, start a task and then move away from their monitor while the task runs. To let admins know that it’s time to initiate the next task, or to hand off the system to another admin, HP OneView makes a subtle flute sound, pitched at a tone designed to get your attention but not grate on your nerves.  


To see the HP OneView animated banner in action see the following animation.




Powerful functionality designed to seem simple


When software works well, the usual reaction is, “Of course it works that way,” because it seems obvious. Popular consumer applications mask powerful functionality with a simple interface that makes sense to users.


We designed HP OneView with the goal of prompting admins to say, “Of course.” Wouldn’t you like your data center tools to work the same way you do?


See for yourself. Download HP OneView software free for 60 days.

[1] Ware, Bonner, Knight, & Cater, 1992.

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