Is your business software suffering from feature creep?
Rare is the software that sticks to a narrow remit, and does not try to do more things for more people over time.
For software developers, feature creep is difficult to resist. On one side they are assailed by users demanding on more options, buttons and functions. On the other side, competitors are nipping at their heels, offering new technologies and intuitive new interfaces. Software is a perpetual arms race.
The biggest loser in this race is the user, who is often left with software that is immensely powerful and versatile, but also more confusing and less intuitive than earlier versions. With each passing year, our software can do more – but it also requires more training and expertise to use effectively. And even expert users may find that their typical workflows are slowed down by an increase in options and clicks.
Simplicity is one of the core principles of user experience (UX) design.
In fact, the Nielsen Norman Group mention simplicity in their definition of UX:
The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use.Nielsen Norman Group
If you want to improve the experience for your users, consider what you can remove from an interface and a user journey, without detriment to the user’s capabilities.
The paradox of choice
For many people, choices are good. Choice is essential for freedom. Choices put us in control. They give us agency, and the power to direct outcomes.
And generally, this is true.
But only to a point.
Beyond a certain threshold, choices become a burden. Too many options, and too many decisions, slow us down, create confusion, and can even lead to paralysis, with no choice being made at all.
American psychologist Barry Schwartz calls this the paradox of choice.
Having more choices does not always make us more free or empowered; often, the variety of choices makes us paralysed and less certain about our decisions.
In some cases, offering fewer choices makes it easier for people to make decisions confidently and quickly.
But this is not always the case.
In some cases, it is appropriate to offer many options. For example, if you have expert users operating in a niche field, they may well know all the implications of their choices; restricting options may make them feel deeply frustrated – or even unable to use the application.
But in many cases, simplifying the user interface, and removing unnecessary options, is an effective way to make people more productive.
The benefits of simplifying your user experience
Companies often devote significant resources to making small improvements to the user experience, but neglect to do the same for their employees. But your employees are a precious resource, and it is clear that their experience has a bearing on the customer experience.
Your business is only as good as your people. As the market for talent becomes increasingly competitive, you need to create powerful employee experiences that will attract and retain top talent.Insight.com
Simplifying software for your employees means:
Make it quick and easy for your colleagues to complete common tasks – without a cluttered or distracting interface.
Fewer clicks and options means your colleagues can achieve more with the same time.
Driving up engagement
Improving the tools your colleagues use can improve employee engagement rates.
If you reduce an interface to its essential components, you reduce opportunities for errors – or bigger problems caused by users changing settings or pressing the wrong button.
Improving employee retention
Keep your colleagues on track by making their job easier and more satisfying. By accelerating basic tasks, you can also give people more time for learning and development
Simple software is less likely to force people to find workarounds or to use bad practices to save time. In the age of constant data breaches, this is a simple way to improve your data security.
Simplify your SAP with Cordis Solutions
At Cordis Solutions, we develop a range of applications that provide a simple user interface for your SAP solutions. These Microsoft-based overlays provide a familiar interface so users can quickly and easily interact with SAP to complete HR, purchasing, finance and approval tasks.
Contact our team to find out how you can simplify SAP with Cordis Solutions.