UX of Internal Software and B2B & B2E Corporate Applications
When we think of UX, we think of slick customer-facing experiences in B2C. But what about B2B and B2E: Business-to-employees? Businesses and employees are often stuck with software and apps that fail on almost every level and unlike consumers, they usually don't have a choice.
We recently designed an internal software system for a large manufacturer, and UX played a crucial role in the project's success, so I wanted to share what we've learned over the years about the role of UX for internal and corporate apps.
Impact of UX in B2B & B2E Corporate Applications
Every organization (no matter the size or industry) relies on mission-critical software: from CRM and ERP, to corporate Intranets, ATS, EHS, and so forth. When this software is designed with the user in mind, it could be a huge boost to employee productivity, engagement, and even employment satisfaction.
Unfortunately, it is often not the case.
Pitfalls of Poor UX in Internal Software
In fact, employee engagement is a growing problem. 70% of Employees in the US are not engaged in their jobs. Only 27% of employees feel they are involved in important tasks and employee disengagement results in a $550 billion cost of lost productivity in the US alone.
Just like anyone else, employees' expectations are shaped by their experiences as consumers. They shop on Amazon, search on Google, watch Netflix; they socialize on Facebook and Twitter. But when it comes to work employees are often forced to use software that hasn't changed much since the 90s, has shockingly bad usability and a lack of basic functionality.
Many times, software UX is so bad, employees are forced to look for workarounds: Dropbox, Google Docs, Excel, or even plain old pen and paper.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were forced to use one of those options—because you had no other choice? Exactly my point! Why do we make it so difficult for employees to do their jobs?
Benefits of UX in B2B & B2E Software
A well-designed B2E UX can change all that. Employees complete their tasks faster, make fewer errors, and enjoy their work simply by using well-designed apps.
Companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
85% of executives cite employee engagement as a top priority but very few organizations are truly doing much to improve the quality of user experience when it comes to corporate applications. For example, millennials are massively entering the workplace. By 2020, they will form 50% of the global workforce. Millennials’ expectations are that software adapts to their needs and not the other way around! Is your ecosystem ready for the new generation of users or will it remain a drag for user adoption, employee engagement, and employee satisfaction?
If you want employees to enjoy their work, why not begin by creating tools that they enjoy using, daily?
Where to Begin? Start with a UX Audit
Have you considered applying UX principles to create employee-centric solutions? Perhaps, but you wonder ‘where do I begin’? A great way to begin is by conducting a UX Audit of your existing software or solution. A UX Audit will reveal existing bottlenecks and fiction points so that you can inject objectivity into the process and focus on fixing real issues and creating a more user-centric solution that makes a difference for your employees. To avoid bias, a UX Audit should always be conducted by an outside UX team. Talk to us – we can help!
I want to leave you with a quote from Richard Branson: “Your employees are your company’s real competitive advantage. They’re the ones making the magic happen— so long as their needs are being met.”
Meet your employees needs with Good UX. Remember, Good UX is always Good Business!