The comprehensive guide to Enterprise UX design
Enterprise UX design can be considered among one of the most underrated subjects of these times. In fact, many who have been in information technology since decades do not know about this. Not only that several of them have not even heard about it. There is also an ambiguity in understanding of the concept of Enterprise UX design among professionals of information technology itself. This is an effort to simplify what Enterprise UX design is all about, and why it is increasingly gaining importance. Read on.
When we talk about UX designs it is taken for granted that we are talking about User Experience web or software design for end users. However, there is a section of people who are making a wholesome use of softwares on a day to day basis. In fact, most of them are fully dependent on software for their full day work activity. However, they are completely out of focus for the UX designers. So much so that nobody is even thinking about these regular users. These people are the employees, the workforce of enterprises and companies who use the enterprise software for functions such as HR, Accounting, Administration, Sales, Marketing, customer relationship management, production management, logistics, purchase, vendor management etc. for their daily activities, depending on their role in the organisation However, there is nothing much done about the UX design of enterprise software. In fact, it is said that nobody thinks about the UX design of this software. Due to this all these important people who run the organisation have to use software with old layouts and designs which does not have latest interfaces and is often boring and uncomfortable. Enterprise UX design is the UX designing of this enterprise software, which will make the user experience more friendly, seamless, exciting and pleasant.
Increasing number of articles, blogs and books are written on UX designs for websites and its importance. Very few think about a silent and focussed group of people who are calling the shots every moment to accomplish tasks for the organisation that is ultimately helping the clients. These are the employees of the organisation who use intranet or internet based enterprise software to serve the company’s clients round the clock. It is the satisfaction and efficiency of these people that will actually decide the promptness and quality of customer service. Most employees do not have a say in this enterprise software UX design. They just see it as their organisation’s tool which they are made to work on forcefully. Many would actually long to get out of their conventional old-school enterprise environment as soon as their duty time finishes and jump on to their choicest mobile app, social media site or something of the kind. That is because they are happier using the better world class UX provided in these apps and websites’.
'The Change' in transit
Enterprise Software users mainly consist of serious compulsive users who access and process information through intranet, internet or even mobile devices in some cases. Over the past few years, slowly, enterprise software has also started gaining attention for their UX design modifications and improvements. Organisations have now started spending money to make enterprise UX designs. More and more content has started getting available. In fact, there is also a dedicated conference for Enterprise UX design now. There have been designers and developers who are now expertising on enterprise UX designs. Corporations have now started realising that money spent on enterprise UX designs are worth the investment. It is actually helping the organisation immensely. Some companies have now also started incorporating employees’ say in the user experience of enterprise software. They have also incorporated the UX development and modifications in their budgets. However, for enterprise UX designs it seems there is a long way to go because of a series of bottlenecks that are in the way. It seems there is still a period before companies actually make investment in enterprise UX which will ultimately help increase their business and profitability.
Enterprise software is complicated. The developers and designers of enterprise software are largely unaware of the actual size of final impact of the functions they are designing and developing. Hence, due to this ignorance, they may not be able to fully incorporate the UI/UX required based on the importance and impact of these functions.To resolve this issues, interviews and opinions of employees working on that functions and/or their superiors have to be processed and modifications/updations should be made based on that.
Enterprise software has a lengthy development period. During this period it passes through various stages of the production development cycle. Several times it happens that the software is produced at a place where it is not going to be used by a third party. The developers do not have the idea of how actual on ground usage is being made. It is merely developed to complete the functions listed. The actual users come to know about the finer points quite late after continuous usage. During this extended development cycle, it is also possible that some new technologies or interfaces have arrived. However, software is developed as per the initial plan and there is no room for new interfaces in the plan. Incorporating them would delay the production cycle.
It is not as easy to incorporate modifications in Enterprise software. To make a modification in a website is a small task. Just a code needs to be uploaded or pasted somewhere in most cases. However, making changes in software is something serious, because when a software is modified, it again needs to gauge the possible impacts of modifications at various results. It has to be again quality checked and certified and then only the software could be used for commercial use.
Implementing Enterprise UX design
When the company is convinced that Enterprise UX design is the future. When the company management is sure that the investment made in it will reflect on the enhancement of the company’s business, it is time to take the next step. Some of the things that needs to be kept in mind to implement Enterprise UX design successfully could be listed below:
1. Focussed team:
The team working on Enterprise UX design would be different from that working on B2C UX designs. It is altogether a different task, that has to be done with a different approach. Same technique will not work best for both. There has to be a focussed team with expertise in Enterprise UX design that should be assigned the task. Some differences between consumer UX design and Enterprise UX design, include high time spending by employees in using Enterprise software as compared to first time visitors or customers.
2. Philosophical change:
The objectives of a website UX design may be to engage the visitor and make them spend more time on the website. It would be to give them a feeling of security and influence them to make a buying decision. While the objectives of Enterprise UX design would be to make users spend less time for any function or activity so their time is not wasted. It will work towards faster completion of tasks in a way the user likes it. It should make the user comfortable in reading and understanding things and ensure that they do not make mistakes in using the elements.
3. Face meetings:
For a successful enterprise UX design it is important that the development team engages with various people at various levels in the organisation who are actually going to use the software. The UX team members will have to gauge their opinions and experiences to create things that would be both easy and likeable for the user.It is the responsibility of the UX team members to get the relevant information from the enterprise use by asking them relevant questions.
4. Team member expertise:
Team members should have a cross section of experiences to create a fantastic Enterprise UX design. There are people with multiple skills. Some people have worked in production previously, while some people know from their experiences how the health sector functions. It is important that there are people with relevant experiences in the enterprise UX design team to get the crux of what really needs to go into the software to make it powerful and beautiful.
It could be concluded that Enterprise UX design is here to stay. Considering it is just the beginning, it has a great future ahead.
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