It isn’t uncommon to listen to people complaining concerning the poor consumer experience of some Business to business (Business-to-Business) and enterprise applications. Frequently, such applications are hastily created by an interior team as a result of a sudden business need. In some cases, employees need to use a disparate variety of applications sourced from multiple suppliers and missing any commonality in design.
Both suppliers also it departments will sometimes believe that poor consumer experience is not this type of major problem: workers are a “captive audience” and need to use certain applications in their work. However, with individuals now getting uncovered to higher designed and simple to use websites within their personal time, they are getting greater expectations from the applications they will use at the office. Poorly designed applications, aside from causing productivity losses, might also lead employees to make use of unauthorised workarounds. In some instances, such workarounds can result in loss of data or compromise of security.
Using the following guidelines might help in designing Business to business and enterprise applications that provide a much better consumer experience while increasing productivity.
1. Study how people work, within their workplace
We always recommend performing solid user research before beginning to create any web site or application. This really is much more important in business atmosphere, where needs could be complicated and designers is going to be confronted with unfamiliar domains. Frequently needs is going to be collected by management and forwarded to they. This carries several risks, most famously that how employees really work isn’t necessarily how their management thinks they work.
The study approach to contextual enquiry advocates speaking straight to potential users of the application, and visiting their workplace to be able to comprehend the full context of the work. Such research might help uncover:
* Any workarounds which are presently employed
* Workplace disruptions that could interrupt using a credit card applicatoin
* Workplace politics and social dynamics affecting how people collaborate
2. Think about the balance between novice and expert users
Enterprise applications possess a greater than average proportion of ‘expert’ users, i.e. users using the applying frequently when they were young-to-day work and therefore become very acquainted with it. Which means that users may take time to find out more complex interactions, and can appreciate if such interactions make their existence simpler.
However, it is important that enterprise applications accommodate novice users too. New employees utilizing an application the very first time, or any other periodic users should be offered obvious, simple journeys. These journeys should concentrate on executing key tasks rapidly and conceal the reasons that just expert users will appreciate. Doing this can help eliminate the requirement for training new users and re-training infrequent users, thus saving money and time.
3. Permit customization and personalisation
Whether it’s annoying to need to make use of a website once that does not work how you want, imagine getting to get this done every single day. The issue is, regardless of the number of potential users you speak with, almost always there is likely to be an alternative in the manner people think and work. You need to recognise this variation, and permit users of the application to customize how it operates.
For instance, consider supplying a personalised desltop where individuals can also add their very own shortcuts and views of knowledge. In case your application includes a search facility, where users may spend some time creating an intricate group of search criteria, it’s also wise to consider letting them save these searches to allow them to repeat them later.
However, don’t exaggerate it with customization. In the event that you have to make most facets of a credit card applicatoin customisable, it might imply that you are not necessarily clear on users’ needs. Besides, users will probably take a moment before they begin fully understanding and customising a credit card applicatoin they will use, so sensible defaults still need get offers for for novice users.
4. Open your computer data
You will find very couple of cases when Business to business and enterprise applications be employed in isolation. Generally, corporate users need to use a range of applications to have their work done. Unless of course this continues to be considered right from the start, it’s frequently nearly impossible to find applications to operate together and seamlessly exchange data, and users need to turn to manual workarounds to help keep things moving.
To avert this happening inside your application:
* Allow users to export data inside a format that they are acquainted with e.g. Stand out spreadsheets
* Allow users to simply print information where possible – not everybody really wants to review a lot of info on a pc screen
* Check should there be any industry-standard data formats highly relevant to the application domain, and comply with these formats where possible to match seamless integration along with other applications
5. Collect ongoing user feedback
After a credit card applicatoin is deployed and appears to operate fine, it’s too easy to be done with it and devote all sources with other projects. However, despite initial problems happen to be fixed, more things may come up further on the way. It is just after users have used a credit card applicatoin for some time that you could understand should there be scope for more optimising it. For instance, you might find there are certain tiresome tasks that users have to frequently repeat, which such tasks might be automated. You may even have to provide additional functionality to dig through the growing quantity of data handled by a credit card applicatoin after a while.
Fortunately, it should not be a challenge to gather such feedback: users can be quite vocal if something that they need to use every single day does not act as they expect. Consider supplying a method to capture feedback from inside the application, allowing users to simply report any issues they’ve. In case your application is based on a helpdesk, support can provide very helpful feedback around the problems that users are facing and also the changes that they are requesting.