Create enterprise web apps that your employees want to use

When in doubt, blame IT. As IT directors, we often hear business users complaining about cumbersome UI of enterprise IT systems. Employees take long time to learn them and they stay ineffective during their lifetime with the company.

If your customer portal is weird, they stop using it. We all understand that UX matters for customer-facing applications and partner portals. After all, If customers and partners can’t help themselves on the web, they will be calling, emailing and demanding face-to- face meetings with your personnel, increasing your payroll costs.

Your employees also shop on Ebay and use Uber, so they know what a usable application is. Rightfully, they are frustrated why your enterprise app isn’t one of them. And the customer whose query they are trying to solve for 20 minutes gets frustrated too.

Tech over people. Poor usability of internal IT systems goes back to the early days when IT was all about systems of records: databases storing essential information structured by entity types and employees keying in and looking up this data. After a while we saw processes-oriented applications, aimed to save money by automating and collating business processes across several organizational units.

For decades, nobody really cared about user personas and their needs. In IT, we kept talking about “components”, “services”, “BPEL”, “portlets”, instead of talking about “user personas”, the very people who use our fancy tech and cost us money every minute they waste because of poor usability.

Customer expectations keep rising, while employees with inefficient systems are struggling to meet them.

What can we do?

”User persona” based enterprise apps are fresh: Experts are still trying to figure out the best ways to build them. That’s why we are hosting conversations with clients who see value in usable enterprise web apps for employees.

Let’s talk? Join one of thirty 1-on-1 calls focused on the following questions:

    • How big is the business case for superior usability in employee-facing applications?
    • Can we improve usability of existing enterprise apps or should we build new ones? Are there other alternatives?
    • What technical challenges must be solved and how to approach them?
    • What are the examples of great usability in enterprise web applications?
    • What can we learn from consumer-oriented applications?

Key takeaways will be shared in a Google document, accessible to all contributing members. By the end of 2016, we will publish a whitepaper with action-oriented findings.