Enterprise software faces a number of UX challenges, including the following:
Enterprise solutions often depend on integrations between multiple applications.
Few of these applications were built with the intent of integrating them into a system that supports a cohesive user experience.
There is a profound lack of information on UX-research approaches that are suitable for exploring integration issues for enterprise software.
This article is Part 1 of a series in which I’ll examine several critical software-integration considerations from a UX perspective. In Part 1, I’ll focus on how to characterize users’ mental models of the data that underlie enterprise systems. In cases where an enterprise is integrating two or more applications that have disparate, back-end data sources, UX research should guide efforts to align those data sources to achieve a seamless user experience. This article outlines specific approaches for characterizing both the current and ideal workflows for viewing, adding, or modifying data across multiple applications. It also identifies success criteria for use when evaluating integrated user experiences. Read More
The integration of enterprise applications is a complex, long-term process that requires careful consideration of business goals, user input, and technical constraints. Enterprises often apply the word integration broadly to describe different types of integration scenarios. In some cases, integration refers to connecting separate applications in ways that enable those applications to function together more seamlessly, while maintaining their independence. In other cases, integration refers to connecting separate applications with the ultimate goal of consolidating them into a single cohesive platform.
Deep linking between applications provides continuity for users throughout the execution of their work tasks. In instances where the ultimate goal is to consolidate applications, deep links provide an intermediate path to integration. This article outlines some techniques for exploring deep-link candidates with your users and characterizing the ways in which those deep links should operate. It also describes several deep-linking patterns for which users commonly perceive a need. Read More
In Part 1 in this two-part series, Chris Braunsdorf and I explained that, in an environment where UX maturity is low, onboarding User Experience with an enterprise product team poses unique challenges. However, you can overcome these challenges by
conducting early user research
requesting the feedback of individual team members
receiving teammates’ input openly and patiently
redirecting teammates’ feedback to align with your user-centered approach
recruiting team members as active participants in your UX research and design activities
However, once you’ve onboarded User Experience in your organization, you must demonstrate certain skills to ensure that it becomes an essential component for your enterprise product teams going forward. These skills extend beyond your UX design capabilities. Read More