Hello people,

First of all, sorry if this is the wrong forum to post in.
I've got what i think is a rather specific question, related to web-development.

about six months ago, i spend a few months developing an internal application for my internship, about 1 week before i left, it was done.
back then i've already given multipl courses in the use of my application, and even improved a bit based on their feedback (mostly cosmetical).
when i left, i was out of feedback and thus assumed my program was ready for use. it works, everyone got instructions and there's a shiney manual availble to all.

now i'm there on a vacation job, but the application has been eating dust and the clients didn't get it (anymore).
i gave courses, got no comments but still they didn't use the application. one of them didn't even know how to use it, despise being instructed and supplies with an manual.

i'm gone in a few weeks, and i'm the only programmer here. so if anything needs to be changed this is the last chance.

these clients here are about technical enough to know how to power the machine on, so my question is: how do you bring a (imo rather complex) application to them?

Put simply, if the application isn't intuitive, people won't use it unless they're forced to do so. If they need to refer to a manual, the application isn't intuitive. If they need to go to a class, the application isn't intuitive.

In your shoes, my first line of attack would be to shadow users as they actually use the application to accomplish real work, since they're clearly either too timid to complain or not interested in using the application in the first place. I wouldn't offer advice beyond answering pointed questions, just take notes on where they seem to be having trouble. From there I'd have a better idea of what needs to change in the user interface to make the application more friendly.

If you still want to keep the same usage of that application, you can make some video tutorials that show how to use it. Then put those tutorials on your website.

@deceptikon: unfortunately, they arent on location for the rest of the week, but i'll be sure to do that once they get back, thanks.

it's not an online app (well ok, intranet) but that doesn't support videos, besides, i doubt they'll make the effort to watch a video, but still thanks for the suggestion

Ok, so i managed to do the applications test today, and it turned out to be really usefull.
It's hard to see where my design fails, considering i've been seeing it for months now, but i think i know what went wrong now. i'll do a few more tests after i process my current input.

thanks for the help