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Why You Should Champion a Better User Experience for Your Employee Apps


Originally posted on the Salesforce blog.

Today, digital is at the centre of business. Gone are the days where your company website was an experiment found in the fringes of the organisation with little or no real effect to the day-to-day business.

Big investments are made in creating the most compelling and effective User Experience (UX) to make sure customers can purchase the products and want to come back for more rather than going to the competitors.

It is a worthwhile investment because customers have choices; If they don’t like the user experience of your company, they can choose to move on to the competition.

How User Experience is Perceived by the Employees

Like the customer-facing digital solution, the digital work environment has also become vital to running a modern business.

“By 2017, 40% of large enterprise IT orgs will actively exploit user experience designs for employee facing apps”. – Vala Afshar, CMO Extreme Networks, referring to Gartner

Today the execution is often driven by IT requirements with a technology landscape mindset and business objectives looking at the problem from an organisational angle.

The people who actually need to use the system – your employees – are often forgotten, leading to solutions that aren’t optimised for actual day-to-day use.

It is also important to recognise that while IT/Business may look at the digital work environment in isolation, the employees do not. Their exposure to digital experience is not limited to their work environment, it extends to their experience as customers… and that customer-facing user experience sets high expectations.

But where customers can choose to go to the competitors, employees don’t have the same luxury so they are left with two choices: Find a workable solution for their immediate needs or resign!

A classic example of the first option is employees finding it hard or impossible to share large files with the official tools, adopt non-approved channels such as private DropBox or Google Drive accounts.

This type of initiative may fix a short term project for a very limited audience, but quickly adds up to a disjointed and disconnected landscape of various unofficial solutions.

The Value of a Better Employee-Facing User Experience

Identifying what really drives and delights employees is critical to understand their expectations of the digital tools they are given and deliver new solutions that that fits those user needs. Good usability (user experience) is defined as:

“The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.“ – ISO 9241-210:2010

Translate this statement into an employee-facing user experience and the benefits quickly highlight the value to the employees, the company and even the customers.

Usability Principles To the Employee To the Company To the Customer
Effectiveness Being able to complete tasks accurately with minimal error Accuracy of the work effort Increased confidence in the brand
Efficiency Being able to complete tasks with minimal effort Increased number of transactions Feel valued as the company respects my time
Satisfaction Enjoyable to use Increased employee satisfaction and less attrition Positive perception of the brand through its employees

Next time you start an internal project, take the time to invest in a user-centric design process for your digital work solutions. The value to both employees, your business and even your customers is simply too great to ignore.Creating a great user experience also ensures investment goes into delivering the right value, as correcting an error post-development is 100 times more expensive than fixing it before, no matter whether it is a customer-facing or an employee-facing solution.


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