Enterprise software is big like Rolls Royce. Awesome to look and great to drive, but do you ever think, how much complexity goes behind when an engineer packs a powerful machine into a beautiful box and blend it with the right aerodynamics to give you intelligent user experience.
Enterprise software like ERP, BI or CRM are similar to these big car engines. Even a single bug can ruin the performance of the whole engine. That’s the kinda responsibility every UX Designer has on their shoulders.
Apple, Google and the Unique Design Thinking
Your design has all the bells and whistles, but if your employees find it too complicated to work around, then it’s not considered effective at all.
One example of perfect design thinking is how Apple started giving priority to customer experience and then working backwards to the technology. Even during a crisis where Apple was not doing that great, they never compromised on their design and user experience and made people desire for them. Theirs was an intuition- driven design, but what worked for Apple, might not necessarily work for others.
In some cases, Google’s design thinking of having a material design with a detailed framework also fares well. It helps in creating a consistent look even on different platforms.
The best practices, according to Gartner are…
- Having a user-centered process with continuous improvement.
- Using objective data that you have on user behaviour
- Have design patterns with measurable outcomes
- Have designs that will result in valuable business.
For an effective UI, it’s also necessary that there’s proper and clear communication between the stakeholders, designers and developers. Failure of this will lead to delayed projects. When UI fails to address one or more functions that are required by various departments, it delays the overall development. But with talented UX designers, and good front-end development frameworks, terrible user experiences are now the talks of the past.
How can we bring a better user experience in an Enterprise UX?
Focus more on experience than features: In a design, emotional aspect has a little more priority than any other element. When creating a software, always remember what if your employee (user) is your customer. You will do all possible things on earth to make things easy for them right?
You cannot make changes overnight, but there’s no harm in taking a slow and steady approach, shifting the complex mindset of the organisation.
This can be done through :
- Encourage the designers to think about daily life scenarios, where they can find reasons why they love simpler products.
Instead of finding the shortest route solving problems, find ways to solve the problem which will also uncover other opportunities. It doesn’t matter even if it takes some time.
- Extensive research and testing can be done, especially outside the office premises. Pair up the designers and developers, making them do the testing and research together. This will help them get a better understanding of the user’s perspective.
- Be ready for challenges. You have to take risks to move forward. Most of the time, fear of taking risks is what leads to complex traditional enterprise software. Take everything in small steps but in a creative manner. Fix workshops and meetings involving the employees so that more ideas are being put in, and also, it’s an opportunity to know what they are looking for.
Have a common ground
Every team is working for the same goal, but the problem is that they are not very clear with what the others do, or what their language is. The way designers speak about stuff might not be well received by the marketing team. Have lunch sessions, or have regular seminar sessions. This will help everyone keep track of what others are up to.
What’s in store for enterprise UX?
With the introduction of new technologies such as IoT, wearable devices, Virtual reality etc, the user experience is getting affected in different ways for both customers and businesses and enterprise UX is no different.
Currently, more attention is given to voice-driven and gesture-driven virtual assistants. Microsoft, in the last few years, has introduced a similar kind of voice-driven business analytics suite. The integration between Power BI and Cortana helped in addressing queries more efficiently and in visualising enterprise data in a much better way.
The future of enterprise UX will become nearly perfect if a proper harmony can be made between voice, gestures, touch, keyboard and mouse. Also with more customization and mobility, enterprise software will offer a much better user experience.