Why We Care So Much About User Interface (and why you should too)

Why We Care So Much About User Interface (and why you should too)

Posted by Tracie Hummel on Aug 9, 2017 10:17:53 AM
Find me on:

UI Icon.pngYou’ve probably already heard, but this year, we’ve introduced two new products: expedite (eDelivery platform) and Annuva (annuity maintenance solution). While developing Annuva and expedite, we spent considerable time, energy and resources ensuring that the User Interface (UI) of these new offerings led to enjoyable and efficient experiences. Wikipedia calls UI “the space where interactions between humans and machines occur.” But, in the context of Annuva and expedite, you can just think of the UI as the way the design makes you feel about your experience with the product.

So, why exactly do we think UI matters so much? This article does a great job explaining the consequences of poor UI and the benefits of good UI. Most importantly, though (according to the article):

“Ignoring enterprise software design can cost you money in the long run.”

Better Software Design Increases Productivity

The aforementioned article references research conducted by IBM, which showed that better software design could reduce the time it takes to complete tasks by 9.6 minutes per task. It probably won’t take you long to think of a time you were extremely frustrated by an application’s poor design or user (un)friendliness. One that comes to mind—almost immediately—for me is the HR software (which shall remain nameless) we use at IFS. We use it to edit/approve time cards, request time off, store/edit tax documents etc. Unfortunately, the design/efficiency of the products leaves much to be desired. Editing timecards, which should be a 2-minute task, often takes 20 minutes or longer. Requesting time off is even more confusing, since you’re never really sure how much time you have left in your PTO bank. And forget about a combo-situation, where you have to figure out how to account for your PTO on your timecard....Instead of just being simple administrative tasks, these necessary to-dos have become time-consuming and frustrating.

Smart UI Leads to Successful Adoption

When you think about the example of our HR software, the connection between UI and adoption is pretty clear. Our poorly-designed HR software has led to many complaints, impassioned rants, and time cards not approved on time. It’s no wonder that our HR Manager has to send an email reminder every pay period to approve our time cards. I’m convinced that the only reason we haven’t had a boycott of this particular software is that our paychecks and the ability to take time off depends on it.  In the words of a CIO article, “Without a good UX, software users are unlikely to adopt the software, or they’ll use it unwillingly.”

If our HR software was redesigned with a better UI, I would argue that it would be eagerly adopted and used.  

Good UI Saves You Money

We hinted at this already earlier in the article, but perhaps the most important reason why good UI matters is that it saves you and your organization money. In addition to the saved money that comes with higher productivity, better UI also means that the software is intuitive and easy-to-use, reducing, or possibly even eliminating, support and training costs. And, since, smart UI leads to successful adoption, you don’t run the risk of implementing a software that doesn’t gets used or has to be replaced with something else.

Now that we’ve explored the reasons why good UI matters, we’re excited to finally show you the new UI for expedite and Annuva. Click below for the big reveal. 

See It Now!

Topics: Annuva, User Interface, expedite, software design, User experience