UX is now penetrating all industrial sectors. Markus Kugler, Managing Director of coeno, gives three reasons for large companies to now focus on user experience. The UX agency has just been commissioned by the Swiss Publicitas with the UI redesign of the complex online campaign tool AdCampaign. The goal: satisfied users who enjoy using the tool. According to Markus Kugler, this should also become the rule for business applications.
Three reasons why large organizations should be concerned with user experience
1. Employees are also users.
Enterprise software - whether financial and personnel planning tools, an accounting application like Publicitas or other essential, internal company tools - often confront employees with a sophisticated representation of huge amounts of data, which should be mastered with the help of the respective tool. The employee as a user is still too seldom considered - as a result, the user experience is rather poor. In all other areas of life, these users deal with software that is user-friendly, attractively designed and accordingly easy to use. Employee acceptance of poorly usable applications in companies is declining. And if they are difficult to use, their use is expensive for companies: employees need longer to complete their tasks.
2. Make everyday work easier.
Even small adjustments to usage processes ensure that tasks are completed faster and more conveniently. If the real users are directly involved in the adaptation process, the UX of proven enterprise tools can be improved sustainably. This can be achieved by collecting usage requirements at the beginning or continuous, prototype-based tests. "If you have respect for large internal tools, you should start with a web application," recommends Markus Kugler. These are usually easier to adapt - but the successes are impressive and help to convince others in the company to slowly start drilling the big boards.
3. Clearly demonstrate the ROI of improved UX
Markus Kugler advises: "If you want to go one step further, you not only optimize the UX of an application, but also try to integrate UX-based thinking into the adaptation process: continuous learning, building and measuring. Users are involved in the conceptual process right from the start (learning), the application is initially created (building) and iteratively tested with the users - also with regard to KPIs (measuring).
These measurable improvements ensure transparency and progress: Define KPIs in advance and then check whether and to what extent they are achieved and improved during development and prototype-based testing. An example KPI: the time required to complete a task. Even after the roll-out of the optimized software, KPIs should be used to support the continuous optimization process with data. This allows the ROI of an optimized UX to be clearly measured and documented.
Further ammunition for the introduction of UX in large companies
WIRED also makes a paradigm shift and gives reasons: The era of long-term projects and IT infrastructure roll-outs is coming to an end. The future belongs to feedback-based developments, because large companies need an easier use (Ease of Use) of internal tools and applications to remain competitive. And the Harvard Business Review even calls UX the "new little black (dress)" for business purposes: Senior managers from all industries promote UX as key to their product strategies.
UX number of the month
69 – Mobile Internet use continues to grow unabated - by the end of 2014, according to Statista, 69% of Germans were using the Web on the move. How do you determine whether your company really needs a mobile app? The blog post by graphic and web designer Vincent Sevilla on Usability Geek deals with the basic questions.
For cheating: 5 radical ideas for usability presentations have been compiled by the blog Useful Usability. For example for iPhone and Multi-Touch app designers and developers: eight rules of thumb plus visuals of the design do's & don'ts.