Numerous features and tools are what large businesses appreciate about their enterprise software the most. While that is reasonable, companies frequently overlook the people who actually use such software. Namely, they don’t pay enough attention to enterprise application usability.
We also see significant investments in the enterprise software market. It’ll be worth over $237 billion by the end of 2022 and reach more than $347 billion in 2027. But what costs go into enhancing UX rather than adding extra functionality?
It was more of a rhetorical question. Still, research indicates that large companies should invest at least 10% of their budget in enterprise user experience. This way, they’ll increase their sales efficiency by 100%, improve their user productivity by 161%, and boost their software’s functionality performance by as much as 202%!
As you can see, usability is crucial for enterprise products. Today, we’ll discuss its importance in more detail and share some tips for improving the user experience with such software.
Being a professional product design agency, Arounda has a profound background in implementing cutting-edge UI/UX solutions for enterprise-level SaaS projects. So, we’ll rely on our own practical experience in this post.
There are two concepts to know about before delving into enterprise usability and user experience examples. Thus, you should figure out the customer and enterprise UX and the difference between them.
So, what is enterprise UX? It’s a user experience design created for applications used internally by large companies and their employees.
Customer UX, in turn, is a user experience design created for applications used by a wider audience and isn’t limited to a particular organization’s internal processes.
Customer UX focuses on ease of use and aesthetics of the product. Its goal is to attract as many users as possible and appeal to them. Enterprise UX, in general, also aims to make enterprise software easy to use, but at the same time, it must ensure the maximum efficiency of the product’s functionality.
Another distinction is that enterprise UX requires people to be somewhat tech-savvy regarding their tools. Customer user experience usually doesn’t need such specialized knowledge. It’s intuitive.
If we summarize the difference between customer and enterprise UX, the first is less complex, while the latter is more sophisticated.
Perhaps at this point, you started to wonder: why is it so challenging to improve enterprise usability? Let’s look at the primary reasons.
Creating user experience design for ERP, CRM, or similar software requires more costs than UX for products of general public use. Why? Because the designer must care not only about intuitiveness and ease of use but also about meeting the company’s needs in the software’s functionality.
Businesses, in turn, are usually not ready to invest in user experience and focus only on improving the features and tools of the enterprise product. As a result, end users need to learn how to use this or that software from scratch.
How does an enterprise product find its end user? The organization buys the software it needs, after which its employees, who act as end users, start using it.
How important is enterprise product design usability in this context? Unfortunately, it is not as critical as software functionality. Suppose a product has all the necessary features and is reasonably priced. In that case, employees cannot but use what their company has provided them with, even if the software has poor usability.
When creating UX for enterprise products, designers rarely put the end user at the center of their creative process. Because of this, the audience’s requirements, pain points, and problems remain unnoticed. As a result, employees receive products that are difficult to use and negatively affect their productivity.
You’ve already seen the primary obstacles to implementing top-notch UX in enterprise products. While such a design does come with some costs, it is worthwhile. We’ll explain why:
Suppose you bought an enterprise resource planning system with noticeable usability issues. To complete a simple task in such software, your employees must spend lots of time and perform numerous manipulations.
On the other hand, investing in an enterprise navigation UI increases your employees’ productivity. Your workers can perform tasks easily and quickly in just a few clicks. In the long run, this will save your resources and boost company profits.
Show your employees you care about them and protect them from inconvenient enterprise software. It will increase your workers’ motivation and satisfaction. In addition, in this way, you also reduce staff turnover.
Effective collaboration between different teams and departments can be a real challenge in large companies. Cooperation can become even more difficult if you ignore the usability of your enterprise software.
Working on the UX of a product used by different teams in your company can significantly harmonize their collaboration. A well-thought-out design will consider the interactions between employees and ensure their smoothness.
Did you know that searching for required items and information remains one of the biggest usability issues in enterprise software? More than 40% of end users noted this problem.
Naturally, the bigger the company, the more data it handles. For enterprise-level organizations, a comprehensive UX of their software means the ability to process data more efficiently. So investing in user experience is a good idea.
Roughly speaking, designing enterprise software takes the same stages as customer UX. Yet, there are some points you should pay particular attention to. Let’s discuss them in greater depth.
The first thing you should pay attention to improve usability is to provide your end users with detailed documentation. It will be a kind of guide to which they can refer when something is unclear.
Documentation will be especially critical for enterprise software with complex and extensive functionality. The more features, the more elaborate the documentation should be. Make sure you don’t miss any details.
User research is what enterprise product designers tend to neglect. But it’s not something you can skip. You should research your end users’ needs and pain points to understand exactly what they expect from your software. It will also help increase their overall satisfaction with your product.
It would help if you also thought about what the user flow will be like in your enterprise software. Here it is crucial to consider your requirements for the software’s functionality and the tasks your employees must tackle. It’s also necessary to figure out how users will move from function to function in your product and how to make this interaction as smooth as possible.
For example, instead of cluttering your product with a bunch of features on the home screen, consider displaying the most relevant ones first. And move less-used features to additional tabs, etc.
Did you implement some improvements to enterprise UX? Find out what your end users think about it. Studying feedback is extremely important for enhancing the usability of your software.
You can conduct employee surveys or face-to-face interviews: any method of getting feedback is helpful. Use the information you learn for further improvements.
Large companies have numerous departments and at least 100 employees. If the enterprise software is inconsistent, there may be difficulties in understanding how to use it.
Therefore, you should ensure that your software is consistent throughout all its elements, from design to features. As a result, it will significantly increase its usability.
Of course, you should aim to make your enterprise software intuitive and simple. You might even want to add some creativity to the design. It is acceptable, but it is essential not to go overboard.
After all, enterprise products are designed for work, not just to satisfy end users. Furthermore, excessive creativity can distract employees from completing tasks, which is not what you aim for.
Usability in enterprise software plays no less important role than functionality. Well-thought-out UX helps company employees complete tasks faster and more efficiently in less time. Businesses, in turn, get better-motivated workers and higher profits.
Although some organizations still neglect enterprise usability, growing businesses that follow the latest trends continually improve the UX of their products.
If you also want to enhance the enterprise user experience, Arounda can help. We have over 20 completed SaaS design projects and five-year expertise in the tech industry. We know how to create usable products and are ready to do it for you. So don’t hesitate to contact us.
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