Enterprise software is often defined as computer software designed to fulfil the needs of an organization rather than the needs of individual users. While this is technically correct, a significant effort must be placed on the individual user experience for an application to achieve long-term success. More often than not, we see apps designed by engineers with little to no end user advocacy, but expectations around enterprise software are trending toward the same usability and performance as consumer products. Users are also less accepting of the notion they need advanced training to become proficient at using an app.
Consumer-facing app design relies on hooking the user on the product since there is less long-term incentive to keep using it; the experience has to be good or users will simply abandon it. However, when it came to past enterprise apps, it didn’t matter whether the experience was intuitive or enjoyable, as long as it got the job done.
Times are a-changing, though. We are surrounded by amazing applications with slick designs and intuitive interfaces. Enterprise employees are consumers in their own right, and they’ve come to expect consumer-level design in all the tools they use.
Make UI/UX Design Work for You
Your company only benefits from applications when the user is successful in using them and that success comes from intuitive design that anticipates user needs. Foreseeing these needs involves time spent interacting with the people using the product in order to understand their challenges, frustrations, goals, and motivations. The more the app developer understands about the user, the better and more efficiently they can design an app to help the user perform their duties.
Forrester Research shows that, on average, every dollar invested in UX can bring $100 in return, so clearly there’s a great return on investment. Here are five more benefits of a well-designed enterprise application:
1. Customer Acquisition
Successful user experience and design provide a competitive advantage. They will likely overtake price as key brand differentiators that attract new customers. (And who doesn’t want more new customers?) Great enterprise UI/UX is more than just effective product design - it’s good business.
2. Customer Retention
By building an enterprise application that’s beautiful and intuitive, more people will want to use it, and more importantly, keep using it. In this digital world, customer retention is increasingly important as competition grows with every technological advancement.
3. Lower Support Costs
A well-designed app just works. If an application is poorly designed, there will be an increased need for training, documentation, and support later, which translates into higher costs. An app that is intuitive and easy to use puts less stress on both employees and the bottom line.
4. Increased Productivity
Better user experience leads to productivity improvements. When you consider the increased productivity over the number of users and hours of day each user is active, the financial impact is readily apparent - and substantial.
5. Reduces Development Time
An estimated 50% of engineering time is spent redoing work to fix mistakes that could have been avoided, like incorrect assumptions about how users will behave, confusing navigation that causes users to get stuck or lost, a new feature that nobody wants to use, or a design choice that isn’t accessible. Making sure the design is done right – and done well – the first time around will prevent future headaches.
With technology changing rapidly, it’s more important than ever for companies to embrace UI/UX design - not as a one-time event, but as a fluid continuous part of a long-term business strategy. At Enviance, we're continuously honing our applications and leveraging great design so that our customers get the most from their EH&S solutions. To see how, request a free demo.