Why the Poor UX of Enterprise Applications Is Destroying Your Margin
While most companies likely realize they have a lot of work to do, they haven’t determined the true extent or impact of poor UX - on both employee health and their profit margin.
Before a UX designer started work on it, this process involved 20 employees and four weeks per application.
UX designers carefully examined the local culture, user journey, and user profile. They discovered it took:
- Nine days to register an application,
- 80 days for task assignment,
- a further 140 days to process,
- and then 40 days for a decision.
As a result, there were 31k applications in the backlog.
UX analysis revealed that the new system should be intuitive and straightforward. It must give users control and freedom while also preventing errors.
The result was a 45% faster response time to applications and automatic task assignment. The backlog was reduced by 8% weekly and the overall time to process each application, from start to finish was reduced by 60%.
Beauty company Avon, whose business model relies on direct sales, knew their software system was in serious need of a facelift back in 2010.
With three goals in mind, they chose SAP AG as their software partner.
- boosting productivity,
- improving stock management
- and, finally, maximizing the efficiency of their product procurement process.
Unfortunately, the new system was a complete disaster and resulted in a massive number of their Canadian representatives resigning almost immediately.
Industry insiders suggest the UI was too technical, as it was based on the generic SAP user interface. No money was invested in making the system user-friendly for the sales force.
Cost? $125M USD but also several valued employees and the reputation of Avon CIO Donagh Herlihy.
Many businesses think they can ‘solve’ the issue of their poor UX with training. Long, boring sessions where employees sit carefully noting down a ‘how-to’ on various processes. Some employees create their own cheat sheets and pass them around to new employees who are then even more confused than they were before.
Large-scale software - like ERP systems - have a rather long lifecycle and features will always take priority. Over many decades, the core of such a system becomes flooded with millions of strings of legacy code.
Even slight changes in such juggernauts are hard to implement. Very often, what would seem like simple, architectural ‘tweaks’ are almost impossible. That's why bulky, ERP-like enterprise systems - with all else being equal - have the worst UX of all.
Mobile apps are huge and the ads within them make billions in revenue for businesses across the globe. Digital mobile ad businesses often find business booms quickly, but with that, processes become unwieldy. One such company found that UX changes made gargantuan changes to the way their business worked.
With a goal of 25% reduction in the campaign set up time, they wanted to identify how to better service campaigns and therefore clients.
To do this, they carefully analyzed every single click, keystroke, and process. They then interviewed staff on how they could make immediate streamlining improvements.
Focusing on the most time-intensive processes, they worked on automation and other speed enhancements.
Results: incredibly, they not only reached their goal but smashed it entirely - they decreased their process times by over 71%.