Prioritizing usability in enterprise UX design is essential for creating more efficient, user-friendly software platforms that improve both employee productivity and user satisfaction, ultimately leading to better business outcomes and cost-effectiveness.
Companies constantly seek innovative ways to streamline operations and maximize employee output. From HR portals to task management systems, CRMs, and intranet sites, enterprise apps help employees carry out their day-to-day operations. However, when such apps focus solely on product functionalities and workflows, employees find them monotonous and cumbersome to use, leading to reduced productivity. That’s where enterprise UX design has a significant impact.
In today’s hyper-competitive business world, with each organization carrying out myriads of operations, the enhanced user experience of enterprise apps can contribute to streamlining workflows, and improve application usability and employee productivity efficiency.
Research indicates that large enterprises shall invest at least 10% of their budget in enterprise UX to
- Increase sales efficiency by 100%
- Improve user productivity by 161%
- Boost software’s functionality performance by 202%
The research data makes it clear that usability has a significant role in enhancing the functionality and reducing the complexity of enterprise apps. This article discusses the importance of usability in enterprise UX design and how Aufait UX ensures this in our enterprise design services.
What is enterprise UX?
A fairly new term in the design domain, enterprise UX refers to the design of software, tools, products, and services used in a large and distributed work environment. The most common applications of enterprise UX are CRMs, ERPs, CMS, Calendar & Scheduling, Analytics & Reporting, Productivity Suite, Accounting & Finance, Support Ticketing, Intranet, and Point of Sale systems.
The diagram below shows the factors that create a good user experience in enterprise products.
Leading organizations worldwide make significant time and resource investments in enterprise UI/UX design and continuously improve workforce efficiency. Some of the areas where enterprise UX creates significant impact:
- Employee satisfaction
- Sales improvement
- Competitive advantage
- Customer satisfaction
A good enterprise UX prioritizes usability and adds value to an organization by enhancing the employee experience. When customer relationships are managed effectively and data analysis is optimized, organizations can leverage this to gain a competitive edge. Hence, usability plays a crucial role in improving the business model through enterprise UX design.
Why is usability no longer optional in enterprise UX design?
Frequently, enterprise app buyers neglect to consider the end-users who interact with the product on a daily basis. Stakeholders (the buyers) prioritize app functionalities that impact business growth, not giving enough focus on the experience of the employees (the users). This causes concern as usability is a key determinant of an app's ability to serve an organization effectively. Some reasons why usability is important for elevating enterprise UX design are.
Enhanced employee productivity
In enterprise UX, usability is becoming increasingly important due to its impact on employee productivity.
Enterprise applications designed with usability in mind enable employees to complete tasks more efficiently and accurately. For example, a well-designed user interface can help employees find important information quickly. This reduces the overall time of the workflow allowing employees to focus on their primary tasks.
Have a look at this screen we designed for an asset management platform, Pepper. The intuitive and clean task bars make it easier for even new users to understand the project pipeline quickly.
On the other hand, poorly designed applications frustrate users with confusing navigation, cluttered interfaces, and non-intuitive workflows. Such hindrances are roadblocks to the seamless functioning of employee workflows. If the employees struggle to use a system, they may not be able to tap its full potential. This can lead to missed opportunities, lower efficiency, and decreased profitability for the organization.
Increased employee satisfaction
An enterprise app with exceptional usability shows that a business cares about its employees and wants to save them from unnecessary complexities by making their experience better. This sends a positive message to employees and motivates them to work for the success of the organization. Moreover, such thoughtful investment in UX can also reduce staff turnover.
By 2025, millennials will make up a significant portion of the workforce. Gallup poll claims that only 29% of millennials are actively engaged in the workforce. Millennials are accustomed to digital experiences that have high customization levels, equivalent to that of social media platforms like Twitter. Lack of engagement in enterprise apps thus adversely affects their performance. Designing enterprise apps with usability in focus thus becomes essential to empower employees to be more productive and engaged.
Take a look at the simple and intuitive interface of a project management tool we designed to make project tracking easy for employees and project managers.
Usability isn’t just a checkbox on a design checklist rather it is a key driver of employee satisfaction. By investing in user experience design for an enterprise app, you are not just creating a better tool for your employees but you are creating a better workplace culture.
Purely from a commercial perspective, the aim of investing in UX for enterprises is to simplify business operations and reduce operational costs. Highly usable apps are poised to reap significant benefits in the form of improved productivity and efficiency leading to higher ROI. The report published by McKinsey and Company titled, “ The business value of design” says that there is a strong correlation between a good design and the growth of revenue. Here are the reasons why enhancing usability is a means to maximize profits with minimal effort.
- The cost and time of development of the app get significantly reduced if usability is ensured early on in the design
- The productivity of the employees increases
- Sales and revenue go up
- Training cost decreases
The usability features of Slack made it wildly successful with more than 10 million active users on a daily basis. Take a look at their connectivity interfaces that allow efficient communication between inter-company employees.
Typically the learning curve of enterprise apps and workflows is steep and employees find it difficult to use the software effectively. On the other hand, a well-structured UX will help users learn how to use the software intuitively. Moreover, as the design will uphold consistency, it will be easier for users to navigate through the multiple levels of the system quickly and learn how to use a new interface with minimum effort.
For example, DropBox, a cloud storage service app has a straightforward and intuitive interface. Users can easily drag and upload images or files without any prior guidance.
When users learn to use the enterprise apps quickly, it can lead to more adoption of the innovative solutions the organization wants to implement. An easy-to-use app gives the desired results intended by the users faster which paves the way for quicker adoption of the apps. A consistent and integrated approach to the usage of the tool results in the seamless functioning of the organization.
Gartner survey report of 2021 says that there are three ways in which users can impact enterprise software adoption.
- Personal adoption: When there is a positive user experience with an application, 41% of the respondents (users) spent more time exploring the features of the application.
- Influencing others to adopt or avoid: Users frequently share their experiences with peers, IT, and business leaders. “Word of mouth” influences other users to adopt or avoid apps.
- Self-purchasing: In certain instances, users can also act as buyers. The Survey found that 34% of the users say that their IT department allows them to select most of the software they use.
An enterprise UX design focused on usability understands the kind of industry or the premise with which the app is working. Usability in design creates a responsive experience for the users. This can nurture effective collaboration between different teams and departments as the app synchronizes interactions between the employees facilitating effective cooperation.
Take a look at the interactive interface of the correspondence management system designed by Aufait UX.
A better understanding of the company’s data
One of the biggest usability challenges in enterprise software is searching for essential information. Users often face this challenge and this can deter their efficiency in tackling large datasets. But by ensuring usability, organizations can enable better data processing.
When there are complexities associated with an enterprise app, employees try to use it in an unstructured and inefficient manner. This adds up to errors in each stage of the work cycle. But usability eases the tasks which lead to considerable error reduction.
How Aufait UX prioritizes usability for a better enterprise app user experience?
Aufait UX considers usability as one of the most crucial design goals of enterprise UX. An example of this is our work with a client from the Travel and Tourism Industry. The client approached us with their requirement of designing CRM software for a seamless and efficient customer experience. We had to overcome several challenges such as managing huge customer data while ensuring its privacy and security. Additionally, we had to ensure that the users get a pleasurable experience while interacting with the software.
Here is how our team sprung into action and enhanced usability
- We conducted in-depth user research to understand user expectations and pain points.
- Created wireframes and performed multiple iterations to arrive at the final design.
- The final design covered the entire customer journey from the initial inquiry to the final booking.
- The design process followed a progressive design approach and utilized job cards to present information in an easily accessible manner.
What was the result?
Our expert UI/UX team designed a dashboard for front desk staff to get a quick summary and manage their daily activities. This ensures that the employees have a smooth support experience. In this way, we designed CRM software that transformed the customer service process for travel and tourism companies—this increased customer satisfaction and revenue generation for the company.
This success story shows the commitment and focus of Aufait UX on enhancing usability in enterprise UX design, and how it can lead to higher employee engagement, productivity, and cost-efficiency.
At Aufait UX, we have a well-defined UI/UX design and development methodology that emphasizes usability throughout the design process of enterprise apps. Here are the key steps to ensure usability:
- Conducting user research
We conduct thorough research on the end user’s preferences, needs, and pain points. This helps us to understand the user expectation of the product. It will help in elevating the overall satisfaction of the product.
- Creating user flow and simplifying navigation
We consider the requirements of the software functionality and the tasks the employees have to accomplish. This enables us to figure out the user journey like moving from function to function in the product. We sketch user flow maps to make such interactions as smooth as possible.
- Studying user feedback and implementing changes
To enhance the usability of an enterprise app, we closely analyze the user feedback to know what end users think about the product. We conduct user surveys or face-to-face interviews to be informed about further improvements.
- Maintaining consistency in design
We ensure that our design is consistent to rule out difficulties in understanding how to use the product. So we design enterprise UX apps that are consistent throughout their elements, from design to features.
- Providing users with design documentation
To improve the usability of an enterprise app, the first thing we pay attention to is to provide end users with detailed documentation. It is a kind of guide that can be referred to if something is unclear. This is particularly critical for enterprise software that has complex and extensive functionality. If there are more features, the documentation we provide will be more elaborate.
Optimizing Enterprise UX design by prioritizing usability
In the realm of enterprise UX design, prioritizing usability is an essential aspect of creating efficient and user-friendly software platforms. If there is exceptional user experience, businesses can achieve optimal outcomes, such as improved employee productivity and higher levels of user satisfaction. At Aufait UX, we understand the crucial role of usability in enterprise UX design. By taking a user-centered approach and emphasizing usability, we design software that is optimized for our client’s specific needs, resulting in a powerful tool that drives business success.
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