It wasn’t too long ago that we were using DOS-based software, with its intimidating lines of code and complex combination keystrokes required to do just about anything.
Contrast that with today’s enterprise software, which is much more user-friendly and intuitive. So we have the user experience (UX) mastered, right?
According to a survey from Tech Pro Research, 44% of respondents reported that UX with enterprise software was somewhat or significantly worse than their experiences with consumer software. About a third thought that UX for enterprise software was better, with the rest believed it was the same.
Nine in 10 companies report using enterprise software, which underscores the importance of developing software that not only looks good but also is easy to use. As an article about the survey states, “Enterprise software is ubiquitous among organizations, but it is mired in confusing menus, tedious workflows and unhelpful output. Meanwhile, consumer software is constantly becoming more intuitive and easier to use.”
Usability and Functionality
We’ve all had to use clunky software built upon a DOS-based legacy system that didn’t make the transition to the modern age. You might get a glimpse of antiquated code as you wait impatiently for a page to load or a process to be completed. You twiddle your thumbs or check Facebook in the interim because you can’t do anything else.
This is precisely where UX comes into play. Many people believe UX is just the look and feel of the software, but it’s actually a complex interplay of look and feel as well as security, connectivity and integration with back-office systems. It must look good but also work well.
Building user experience into enterprise software begins at the planning stages. There are many questions to consider, but here are a few to start the conversation:
- What’s the software’s intended use?
- What’s the software’s intended audience?
- How will data flow from Point A to Point B while maintaining privacy, security and regulatory standards?
- What other systems need to be integrated into the software? How will those systems be connected to promote fast load times?
- What quality assurance (QA) testing will be needed?
The answers to these questions will determine whether your enterprise software will be a hit – or a miss – among your employees, partners and customers. If you and your IT staff don’t have the answers, you should look for outside help.
Good UX can be found at the intersection of usability and functionality. And so should your business enterprise software.