When employees start working on a new business software solution, it's imperative the system is intuitive, easy to use and streamlined for the most efficient workflows. These features fall under the "user interface," or UI, umbrella.
User Experience vs. User Interface
Not to be confused with "user experience," which covers the analytical and technical aspects of the software, according to Career Foundry, the UI represents how employees who use the system interact with, respond to and perceive the business software solution.
Unfortunately, unlike apps and websites designed for consumers, which are often both functional and beautiful, many business software solutions are poorly designed and ignore the user interface all together. However, there's a growing expectation for employees to use business software - whether it's an omnichannel operations suite or an enterprise resource planning program - that relies on a streamlined display for facilitating simple functionality.
What are the Risks of Poor UI?
While team members who were around during implementation and the initial training will have gained a good amount of knowledge on how to use the business software solution, good user interface design ensures that new hires have a short learning curve and will feel comfortable and confident with the system. The alternative involves an extended onboarding process as new users get up to speed. Further, a poor user interface can cause a promising addition to the team to seek out other employment options as opposed to dealing with a clunky, unresponsive and overwrought business software solution.
"A good UI fades into the background while poor ones make their presence painfully obvious."
Poor UI can intimidate, confuse or even provoke rage in employees who use it on a daily basis. For people who aren't the most technologically savvy, a bad UI can make their job a nightmare. Not only does this lead to dissatisfied workers, it also lowers productivity levels and can create more mistakes with a potential to cut into profit margins.
Best Practices for Great UI
The goal of a good UI is to essentially to make the user's interactions nearly automatic, thanks to feedback loops that intuitively teach workers how the software functions. Ultimately, the UI should visually guide the user through the product's interface with interactive and responsive buttons and features to the point where the user shouldn't even need to think about this process.
A good rule of thumb to remember when testing a business software solution's UI is that a good UI fades in the background while a poor UI makes its presence known by overcomplicating each interaction.
The Importance of Interfaces
When migrating to a new platform, companies don't want their employees being bogged down as they familiarize themselves with a new UI. This is especially true when there's a rapidly approaching deadline to go live.
As noted by Job Science, industry-specific software designed by developers who understand their clients' particular needs is usually the best option. Deck Commerce's omni-channel e-commerce platform provides online retailers with a streamlined and intuitive user interface that employees can easily learn how to use efficiently and effectively.