The past decade has witnessed enterprise IT being woken up from its state of stupor, and the awakening is ongoing. It is evolving to acknowledge that user experience (UX) is crucial to its existence, and that sporadic, ornamental upgrades have little to no impact on improving organizational performance.
The complexity of enterprise applications stems from its voluminous data used to support the intricate functions that run the company. This data along with the complex functionality run on legacy systems assembled ages ago by an entirely different generation of technological prowess. Over the years, all that enterprise IT has been doing is incrementally adding functionality without taking the effort to actually reduce complexity.
What this results in are poor decisions springing forth from a distorted reality of what is actually happening within the company.
Need for a UX Assessment
Traditionally, enterprise software was typically developed keeping sales and technical needs in mind, as opposed to designing based on user needs. What’s even troublesome is considering making new changes to it. With user needs dominating technology, the conversations have finally begun to flow in enterprise corridors as well.
Stakeholders are coming to terms with the challenges of reducing the complexity of their product and accommodate user needs. They are beginning to spot red flags within their application such as these –
– Multiple steps needed to accomplish simple tasks
– Difficult to scale or add new functions
– User dependency on supplementary tools rather than the actual product
– Intensive training needed for new users
Sensing the impact of these on the bottom line, product managers have begun to understand the need to place product purpose before functionality.
UX Audit is where it starts
A UX Audit is an expert assessment of your product’s performance in terms of usability and user experience. The process examines and rates the existing user journeys to reveal actionable areas of improvement.
An enterprise product stands to incur substantial gains from a UX audit exercise, as the actionable follow-up activities are based on empirical data points rather than guesses. These may include –
– Understanding the value of design through active participation, using your own product as a case study
– Metrics that form the basis for future tweaks
– An understanding into existing user behavior, plus hypotheses about future behavior
– What’s working, what’s not and what can be done about it
It is recommended to have a UX audit conducted by a specialized design agency – this is because it is difficult for in-house teams to bring in that element of absolute objectivity needed to conduct it successfully. Depending on the scope and scale of the product, a basic audit exercise can cost between $5k to $ 15k, which will cover a single product, multiple workflows using an informal approach. A more detailed analysis covering ecosystems and user journeys across touchpoints, with a formal approach can take the cost upwards of $15k, and provide deeper, goal-orientated insights. In most cases, a two-week UX audit can throw up in-depth revelations, enough to get things rolling.
UX Audit: How it Works
The UX audit sprint concludes with the handover of a list of recommendations covering the strategy to be followed along with the actionable suggestions. Innovating existing technology through design is not only about overcoming its complexity, but enabling enterprise users to gain access to quick, intuitive and meaningful tools.
A UX audit is the first step to be taken towards this direction. Here’s a video where our CEO answers some of the FAQs around UX Audit.
Working upon the suggestions of the audit guarantees that your application becomes a true support system for your employees, and maximizes the RoI. Reach out to us today to enquire about UX audits.