MLS "Print Forms" Clarification

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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MLS "Print Forms" Clarification

Postby ffrsqpilot » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:00 am

Twice now I have had Priesthood members call my home asking for help in getting to a form in MLS. In one case it was a Bishop and the other it was a clerk who were unsure of how to find a particular item. In the Bishop's case he was looking for the Ward Sustaining List for an upcoming ward conference while the clerk was looking for the Signature Card so he could print it out for adding a new Bishopric member. Both of these forms are located under the tab "Print Forms" but neither tried clicking on that tab as they took the item at face value - i.e. they thought if they clicked "Print Forms" that something would immediately print. - I guess it is our experience with computers that hitting a command will cause the computer to do something so it wasn't intuitively obvious that clicking on that particular tab would bring up another page where the forms could be found. They spent well over 15 - 20 minutes looking for the forms and finally gave up and called me for help.

Thus, is there anyway that in a future update, we could retitle that item to read "Printable Forms" rather than "Print Forms". For those who are less familiar with MLS it makes it easier to understand that clicking on that tab will get them to another page where they can find the forms they want to print.


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Postby RossEvans » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:30 am

Pilotfly wrote:Both of these forms are located under the tab "Print Forms" but neither tried clicking on that tab as they took the item at face value - i.e. they thought if they clicked "Print Forms" that something would immediately print.

Isn't this a clear case of what they call "pilot error?"

(Just kidding. I couldn't resist the pun. I actually agree with your suggestion. Man-machine interfaces should be designed to minimize such errors in any case.)

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Postby gawing » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:48 am

Good suggestion!
Even then, I remember the first time I had looked for the sustaining list, I hadn't considered it a "form", so it took me a while to find it. Perhaps it could add a word on the end; something like "Printable forms/documents" or "Printable forms/applications".
I can't think of a better word that would include the signature card and the sustaining list, but you get the idea.

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:28 am

How about shortening it to just "Forms"?
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "" to the search criteria.

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Postby craiger » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:46 am

I've run into this same problem myself. I think part of the problem is that a lot of the things in there aren't titled "form." So when you are looking for the sustaining list or signature card, it doesn't seem like the right place.

That said, I think "printable forms" is the best suggestion so far.

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Postby childsdj » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:53 pm

I will suggest it to the developers. I agree that even "printable forms" would help.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:13 am

DJC wrote:I will suggest it to the developers. I agree that even "printable forms" would help.

I think this example proves the forum is a great start.

Has the church considered a more formal approach to wishlist items, RFC etc which often has a much lower priority than direct bugs.

Something I did for previous products I worked on was to allow users to submit their “request for change” on a web-form with the categories entered by the end-user being the menu system the user already know and a description of the change required.

We got far more than we could possible do but even then we “scrummed it” by prioritising them all (as they came in) by both “business-worth” and “effort required” to get our “return on investment” and then committed two man-days per month initially to this (one developer and one tester). That way we went through loads of easy changes. What I personally learned was how easy it was to make a difference and how mine and my developers’ eyes weren’t always the same as the users.

It has to be said that bugs, new development and "high priority" wishlist items (pushed commercially) was done the rest of the time but this way suddenly allowed everyone to come forward and there were many things we would never had thought about (as well as many items we binned :) ).

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Postby greggo » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:54 am

I certainly agree about the "print forms" menu item, but the issue isn't just with this item.

I have "gotten used to" using most of the functions of MLS, but it has taken several hours/days of trial and error. For me, for the most part, the whole organization of the user interface is nonintuitive and should be rebuilt from the ground up (that being said; however, I don't have a good suggestion on how it should change).

One nice thing about the old MIS (maybe the only one) is that you could pull up the desired list by typing the number printed at the top. Several times, I have been asked for a particular list by someone saying they want one "just like this" (as they hand me an old one they want updated). I would then spend several minutes trying to find out where it came from. If the lists/forms had a number we could type into MLS, it certainly speed things along.

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