Posted on: February 15th, 2015 by Fransgaard No Comments

A New Approach to User Experience Design for Employee Apps

Originally posted on the Salesforce blog.

When commissioning a new business app for your company there are lots of things to consider and providing a good user experience is at the heart of delivering value for money. If the experience design is broken, the app won’t help your employees do their job better, faster or more effective.

What level of bespoke user experience is needed?

On one hand a fully bespoke and customised design will be laser-focused on delivering the best experience to fit your business objectives and user needs throughout. On the other hand using native Salesforce screens makes the app easier to maintain, update and scale.

Naturally, there is a gradient of options between these two extremes, but more often than not, we choose an experience solution which persists in each step throughout the journey through the app.

But is this the most optimal approach? Maybe not.

Can we get the best of both worlds? I think we can.

If we look at a single user journey there are different needs at different stages. One parallel example is how some apps launch an introductory tutorial the first time the user opens the app. On subsequent visits the tutorial won’t appear as the user now is familiar with the app.

What if we applied the same contextual user needs pattern to how tailored the experience design is at different steps through a single user journey?

A visual example: A tiered brand treatment

There are documented benefits to giving employees a branded experience, but a fully bespoke brand approach doesn’t always align up with the benefit of using native non-branded salesforce screens when it comes to maintenance and upgrades.

So where will we get most value of adding a full brand experience and where will it be less impactful especially compared to the effort required to make it so?

The best place to get most brand impact is high traffic sign-posting screens such the homepage and landing pages. All users are exposed to these transitional screens before they reach the more specialised functional screens that are far greater in number and feature much more complex functionality.

The primary purpose of the functional pages is to help the users get the job done rather than exposing them to a high-level of brand implementation. that is not to say a light touch of branding won’t be beneficial to the overall brand-exposure, but it is the functional experience that is key to success at this stage.

The value of a graduated experience design

The tiered application of your brand is just one example on how a tiered user experience can marry fully bespoke screens with native screens in a single user journey.

But it provides a good basis for thinking about the user journey through the app as steps on a timeline with different moments of interactions, each with a different purpose and each requiring a different treatment.

Done right, the result is a great business app that provides:

  • A user experience based on understanding when bespoke experience design is most impactful.
  • Scalability and speed for deploying additional functional pages using native screens.
  • Most value by investing the bulk of the effort where it makes the biggest difference.

And in the end, an app that delivers value for the money by delivering an enjoyable experience for your employees.


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