Keep Workers Happy with Simple Apps
Modern mobility has impacted the entire software world and has put users in the center.
User Experience, once a theoretical term that only the best in class companies invested in, has become a popular topic. Something to put your money on. Something that can impact the success or failure of the software.
And what about the enterprise world? Enterprise users do not get to “pick” their favorite app. Instead, the management decides what solutions to deploy and use, and so naturally, the focus on the user experience (also read: satisfaction) is less of an issue than capturing the data they want in order to make the business succeed.
Usability is Standing Between Success and Failure
Still, consumerization of IT is here, it’s everywhere. And while people tend to think of consumerization of IT as a thing of the devices – the trend is much bigger than just hardware: it’s everywhere: software trends, user expectations, IT challenges. In a world led by Apple and Google, the user is in the center and usability counts. Even in the enterprise world. And so, finally, the understanding that the UI can make the difference between failure or success is now common knowledge across enterprise companies.
In the classic conflict between management goals (visibility, KPI’s, reporting) and user needs (simplicity, minimal typing and admin work), Apple and Google are making a large breakthrough on the users side. Finally, organizations are beginning to understand that demanding too much from their field employees is making them annoyed. And when users are unhappy – projects fail.
Create a Fun Balance
What should be your take from this?
First, never underestimate the importance of UI. It’s not about the colors or icons – it’s about the layout, data priorities, navigation model, and what kind of dialogue the software has with the users.
A good user experience makes things more efficient, in a simple way. No complexities. No redundant fields. A balance between management wishes and users’ needs.
Time to engage with all the known techniques for achieving a good user experience: work with a UI expert, use user groups, collect feedback along the way, split your project into phases and make sure to check yourself in-between phases. Put usability in high priority and don’t settle with mediocrity in the UI.
Oh, and one last thing to remember: it’s OK to compromise on functionality in favor of usability. Good usability will increase the productivity of the app, while overloading the app with features will impact badly on the entire project.