Today, many are those who work on business applications whose design did not take into account the activities that users are required to perform. This can cause frustration and a waste of time.
What are the business applications?
It may sound obvious, but it’s always good to remember what business applications are for – meeting the needs of workers in the practice of their profession. Each profession contains its own set of specificities that must be taken into account when developing these applications. It should be borne in mind that a business application always aims to help users carry out their daily activities.
A business tool should be seen as an investment rather than a cost. Adapting this tool to the trades and skills of users is essential to guarantee operational efficiency. The purchase of generic software may seem economical in the short term but may require heavy subsequent investments if it does not meet the needs of the teams and if it is not adopted by the users.
Also, it is important to note that a company with a tailor-made business tool ensures better productivity from its employees. Indeed, such an application is made to meet the needs of workers, allows them to save time in the performance of a number of tasks which, ordinarily, could be time-consuming and therefore represent a loss of productivity and therefore, a loss of money for the company.
A business application adapted to the needs of users makes it possible on the one hand to save time for employees and on the other hand to save companies. Indeed, how many of us remember the time wasted trying to find the right information, the right contact, the right procedure for the sole purpose of doing our job. What if we counted the learning time, the onboarding time, and the number of mistakes/corrections it takes to just do a job properly.
How to ensure that your business applications are adapted to your needs?
UX (from English User eXperience) is a discipline at the crossroads of many fields (ergonomics, behavioral studies, cognitive psychology, design, business, marketing, etc.) which puts people back at the center of the design, its needs, constraints, and activities.
UX being at the crossroads of the business needs of the company and the expectations/needs of users, each stakeholder must therefore be involved in the creation of these business applications.
Working conditions also depend on the tools made available to employees. In order to create a tailor-made application without risking making mistakes – or at least as little as possible – it is important not to neglect UX and especially user research.
It is essential to seek to know the constraints encountered by your employees in the exercise of their profession by using their current tools, in order to imagine, with them, what solutions to offer them.
We must not forget the user (anyone who will interact with the tool. For a business tool, the users will generally be the collaborators). Indeed, everything will be played around him. This is called a User-Centric approach. This approach consists of involving the user in the process of designing and creating the application.
Based on this observation, it is, therefore, essential to involve them in the creation of their own tools. To do this and to achieve a satisfactory result for the employees, the first step consists in carrying out user interviews in order to understand the problems encountered in the exercise of their profession and to question them about their expectations and their needs. It is essential to keep them throughout the tool design process. We can use different methods depending on the design phases such as interviews, questionnaires, ethnographic observation, co-design, simulation, and user testing workshops.
These methods can take different forms and each of them serves a specific purpose. For example, card sorting is a workshop that defines the architecture and the tree structure of the future application in order to better respond to mental models as well as to user processes.
This is David works as a digital content marketer at Mavendigital. Besides that, I love to read and love to play online games and I like to ride a sports bike too.