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Why is User experience so pivotal in the enterprise today?

We often hear “Enterprise software products are complex” and their complexity is one of the reasons businesses sometimes fail to fully realize the expected return on investment from these products. Enterprise employees who use these complex applications face a significant challenge. When applications are integrated in an organization, they expect users to learn the new system and incorporate with existing work processes. However, the employees find these new systems hard to absorb and difficult to integrate into existing processes.

In todays modern era we are used to accessing information virtually from any tablet or smartphone device at our fingertips. The usability of business software has become an important differentiator for success. The world is changing with Consumer user experience being the new standard for enterprise applications. Why is this? Simple – consumer apps similar to Facebook and Twitter are intuitive and very user friendly. Designers need to create user interfaces that meet functional requirements but at the same time focus on attributes such as: security, visual design features, usefulness, speed, learnability and efficiency for the end user. Essentially the software has to be simple to understand and easy to use after a reasonable amount of time getting acquainted with the system.

Key requirements for successful user experience in the enterprise

Practicality: The sole purpose for an enterprise application is to increase the productivity and efficiency for all employees. If the app is not intuitive enough or doesn’t help users complete their day-to-day tasks in an effective manner, the app becomes useless. One way to address this issue could be to make the enterprise application customizable so employees use it how they would like. The best way to do this is speaking with your employees to determine which functions they’d like on a mobile device. Not all features of the application would be relevant for everyone as they work in different areas across the organization.

Speed: No one wants to use a slow app. It’s important to understand the more functionality you add to your enterprise app, the more load time on a screen. Employees need to become more productive and complete tasks on time. It’s vital to include functionality that is most relevant to them and not bombarding irrelevant features which slows down the app.

Visual: The most successful consumer mobile applications are built with intuitive information architecture, interesting movement and vibrant colors. If your app is not appealing to the eye, your users wont enjoy using it. In this day and age, consumers demand personalization, and employees are no different. Every element should not only evoke the brand but should speak directly to the user.

Navigation within app: The main menu of the application should help direct employees to the correct function to help them complete their core tasks. The longer a user has to dig around finding the feature they need, the more irritated and less productive they will be. For example – if an employee needs to update their personal details, there should be a clear button that indicates how to do just that. Don’t let your employees get lost in the application otherwise they will exit and enter their Twitter app instead.

Summary

Consequently, simplicity in user experience and meticulous system interaction design are considered important key factors in the development of usable and desirable enterprise applications. We need to move away from complex enterprise applications and help our employees become more productive and efficient in their day-to-day processes, which will add real business value and results.

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