Organizations that have IT (Information Technology) departments should be more effective than organization that lack them. If your organization doesn’t use and maintain its software and servers efficiently and effectively, that’s money down the drain.
But, while it’s easy to see the direct impact that the user experience of a consumer application has on user conversions, that’s not true of user experiences for the enterprise segment of the software marketplace. Computer software that automates the business of non-software organizations is usually slow evolving. However, the user experiences of enterprise applications do have direct impact on an organization’s performance. When the applications that an enterprise employs provide better user experiences and usability, its people are more efficient and productive. The greater the cost of human resources within organization, the bigger that impact is. Read More
In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our expert panel discusses the key differences between UX design for enterprise applications and consumer applications. Among these differences is the fact that most enterprise users have their applications chosen for them, while consumers have freedom of choice and buy their own applications. While actual users may have the opportunity to define requirements for and evaluate enterprise applications, personas represent the target users of consumer applications, and the people who test them merely resemble those target users.
Enterprise applications typically have much greater scope and are much more complex than consumer applications, so enterprise solutions are often tailored for people working in specific roles. Plus, enterprise applications are designed for a specific business domain rather than a specific task, as many consumer applications are. Administrators usually configure enterprise applications, while consumers configure their own applications. Employees routinely use enterprise applications in their work, while the use of most consumer applications is less predictable. Enterprise applications often must connect with legacy systems. Read More
There is a tendency to associate the profession of User Experience with consumer-facing Web sites and applications. And why not? After all, social media and ecommerce experiences are a constant part of users’ lives—even those who are also UX designers. These experiences represent desirable activities such as buying products and interacting with friends and family. There is high demand for such experiences, which, in turn, draws the collective focus of the UX community. Fair enough. But the profession of User Experience also provides value in unexpected places that exist at the periphery of modern consumerism. In this three-part series, I’ve discussed one such unexpected place—the industrial environment. Humans—who help manufacture the goods we enjoy—must be productive and are no less deserving of experiences that make them more efficient, effective, and satisfied in their jobs.
In Part 1 of this series, I explained that industrial automation is more human facing than you might think. Then, I described how the industrial environment itself presents difficult challenges for UX designers to overcome when designing software for human-machine interfaces (HMIs), covering both plant-floor and control-room environments. Finally, I shared some key principles of effective HMI design that apply to both environments. Read More