User interface (UI)
User experience (UX)
User interface (UI) / User experience (UX)
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 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. 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.