Welcome to the MMC 3.0 Guidelines
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The enormous success of Microsoft Windows as an enterprise-caliber server product, and the range of solutions built upon it, have brought the need for an increased focus on the manageability of the platform. Manageability has many elements, but an area that is often overlooked is that of providing a great user experience for those users who perform management functions.
A quickly deployable application or service that is easily configurable and maintainable, well instrumented, and capable of being effectively monitored can be considered “manageable” in isolation. The reality, however, is that many IT generalists manage a wide range of applications, solutions, and infrastructures, and this fact emphasizes the need for an overarching concept of the “management user experience,” by which we mean a user experience that stresses factors such as intuitive UI, ease of navigation, and a high degree of consistency across tool sets.
The purpose of these guidelines is to help tool designers and developers provide their target users with a great management experience. The detailed focus is for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) framework, specifically the functionality provided in MMC 3.0, but the design tools and processes described are intended to be generally useful to anyone who develops or works on UI for management tools. The principles embodied in these guidelines are based on wide-ranging usability research, analysis of numerous management tools, and in-depth interviews with a number of management feature teams within Microsoft.
The result is the MMC 3.0 Guidelines, which gathers best practices, proscriptive guidance, and prescriptive guidelines for the management experience in one document.