When we start using an enterprise application like LinkedIn, JIRA, Trello etc. we look more into the design. The UI design attracts us as its been made considering the UI trends of that year. But when we keep using the application more and more, we start getting UX goofs. User experience is a big factor which failed Orkut but made Facebook a bigger winner. User Experience was one of the deciding factor for Google+ never achieving what Facebook could.
Capterra is a big platform which reviews a lot of enterprise applications publicly. Read the public Reviews of the most popular Enterprise Systems in 2019 only on Capterra. Top applications like Microsoft Dynamics, Deltek Vision, NetSuite, Bitrix24 have great following of buyers which the reviews show. 3 years back no one emphasized on User experience. But thanks to these Google play stores, apple play stores, and review sites like Capterra the mindset has changed. Enterprise companies never gave priority to UX goofs.
With the increase in mobile users, the demand for mobility solutions have increased. Today all kind of users be it employees or employers want everything with the touch of a finger. All corporates and tech teams are already using Mails, Skype, Slack, Google, Excel, etc. on their mobiles. Most office related work is done on mobile today, which has only become possible due to better Mobile experience. As per the future trends, 90% of corporate enterprise will have atleast one mobile solution in coming 5 years.
Consumer vs Enterprise Apps
Consumer applications like Facebook and Instagram are raising the bar in UI and UX. This makes it a must for Enterprise applications to upgrade as employees use for most part of day. Employees spend 1 hr on consumer apps and 7 hrs on enterprise apps daily on an average. If the app has poor UI and takes long to navigate, the employee productivity will be very less. The app needs to be user friendly and do more in less number of clicks. We should not forget that employees are smart consumers of 2019. They already use apps like Uber, Yelp, YouTube etc. daily. Thereby they also expect their enterprise softwares to be of consumer-app level modern.
Following are mistakes which App developers and Clients do :
Design with Buyer in Mind and not the End-User.
Every product needs to have proper analysis with regards to who are the end-users, What is their behaviour and what are their use-cases going to be. All the requirements and scope of work are written by the IT team which developers have to follow. The only case where buyer becomes the user is the admin panel.
Every industry has its own end user rules when it comes to usability. This includes behaviour steps, navigation, the terminology they use, the shortcuts they want differing region and company-wise. The development team and client should consider all of this before starting development. You cant follow the usability of an accounting system for a CRM. The only way you can do it the right way is have appropriate due diligence with existing end-users. You can also follow state of art industry specific case studies available in the market.
Ignoring the Legacy Software.
For companies looking to migrate their old app to a new one, we cant ignore existing system. The customer already knows what their existing system lacks in terms of functionalities, design or business logic. So before we try to solve their new problems, we shouldn’t ignore the existing flow, validation of legacy system. We should also consider business logic, ease of use like “Use Tab to shift focus between fields”. The developer should know that the end-users or employees are used to a certain pattern or behaviour. If they have habit of using “Ctrl + P” to print a report, we cannot force them to use button only.
Developers should also know what modules employees or end-users use maximum and try not to change the flow. We can only try to make it better rather than discomforting the end-users with a big learning curve. We always have to try to reduce learning curve and trainings and hence increase productivity. Therefore more functionalities and less training also guarantees a lot of money saving.
Innovate only what is required and important.
We have two cases one where employees lack enthusiasm to upgrade UI/UX of the app. They don’t have a target to sell so don’t focus on UI and UX goofs regularly. Similarly we have the contracted developers who wish to redesign the entire app. Nifty alerts, more shortcuts, fancy left menus, popup design can all look great. But we also need to care about the end-user’s standard practices. Like always use red color for Delete, orange for warning and green for success. As Apple emphasizes on, “Don’t use system-defined buttons and icons to mean something else.”
Avoiding UI aesthetics and increasing UX goofs
We need to focus equally on to typography, font-sizes, color-combination, animations, button placement. If a company is spending again then it is expecting upgrade in all terms. It is looking for performance, user friendliness and latest design. Try this app Hotjar , it tells you where the end-users clicked the most or used which modules maximum.
Disregarding the importance of Responsiveness
Renovating an app needs to consider all the devices which can make work easy. Tablets, PDAs, or mobiles can contribute greatly if considered with respect to different user roles. You don’t need to show all modules to a laymen or clerk. That way he can do his tasks even from his iPhone or iPad in emergency or exceptional cases. The new software should be adaptable without relying only on desktop. Also consider on different browsers like Chrome, Firefox or Edge along with Safari.
- Use Negative Feedback from failure of Other Systems
Developers also have to take inspiration from other’s feedback and debacles. Like Thomas Alva Edison wrote on 1000 ways of not to make a bulb. We can take examples of failed case studies of famous systems and make use-cases around it.The Only way a successful migration of legacy software can take place is by fruitful collaboration. A developer from MIT or UX designer from apple don’t guarantee the best UX for a healthcare system. They also need to know the business logic involved which can only happen when they collaborate with regular sprints. You can also follow agile lifecycle and scrum as cherry on the cake to avoid all UI and UX goofs.