Organizations all over the world have started to invest time, money, and effort into building efficient enterprise software solutions. With businesses shifting from a traditional workforce to a remote one, enterprise UX has become critical.
However, to build a good enterprise software application, you need to create an efficient enterprise UX design.
In this blog, we’ll share the main principles of creating an enterprise UX design system, why it’s crucial for the growth of any business, and a handful of tips that will help you create a highly-efficient enterprise software solution for your organization.
What Does Enterprise UX Design Even Mean?
Enterprise UX design refers to the user experience of enterprise products. Enterprise products are software applications built to automate the systems and processes that large businesses have in place.
These software solutions are specifically built to be used by the company’s employees. For example — CRM systems, inventory tracking software, Customer relationship management systems, HR management software, and more.
Why Enterprise UX Design Is Vital For Business Growth
Most businesses force employees to work with software applications that have terrible UX. Employees are simply expected to work around the issues they face with un-intuitive dashboard design and complex navigation.
With the massive amount of data and features weaved into these enterprise applications, it’s tiring for employees to deal with these complexities on a daily basis.
It’s evident that bad enterprise UX design will have a negative impact on the company’s growth. Instead of focusing on the negatives, let’s understand the different benefits businesses can enjoy with a sound enterprise UX design system.
How Good Enterprise UX Design Impacts The Company
1. Increase in productivity and performance
Investing in building a highly functional enterprise UX design has a massive impact on the productivity of the employees.
If the software application that employees spend hours working on every single day becomes easy to use, it will undoubtedly help them perform their daily tasks much more efficiently.
Typically, employees spend at least 6 to 8 hours each day working on the company’s software application. When you provide them with a refined enterprise UX design, actions that usually take 8 to 10 clicks to execute may be done in a couple of clicks.
This will show a significant boost in their productivity and performance, which directly reflects on the company’s growth. It will also save them a considerable amount of time that they can focus on other high-priority tasks.
2. A better understanding of data
Employees at large companies have to work with a lot of raw data. With a good enterprise UX design, employees will have a better understanding of the data and can quickly and efficiently process large chunks of information.
Spotting key patterns and insights is easier when the enterprise UX design is created with the end-users in mind. It provides them with the tools they need to make better decisions and prevents them from making mistakes.
3. Simplified internal cooperation
Enterprise workflows need to consider the effectiveness of communication and collaboration between users. Employees shouldn’t have to go through 7 steps simply to share a message.
Enterprise UX design must evaluate the overall behavior of the users and the more minor interactions that make employees work more efficiently. This is even more crucial for businesses with a remote workforce.
Main Principles Of Enterprise UX Design
1. Establish hierarchy
One of the main principles of enterprise UX design is implementing a strict hierarchy in the system to reduce the perceived complexity of the software.
An intuitive enterprise software application is simply one that has a strong visual hierarchy.
Establishing a solid hierarchy helps users gain a firm grasp of the software interface and feel in control of the system.
2. Recognizable items
Your dashboard design must include visual cues that help users easily discover the icon and recognize what it does.
Even if the user doesn’t immediately recognize the functionality, which is very common with enterprise software applications, the enterprise UX design has to ensure that they will be able to work with it efficiently after they’ve spent some time learning, training, and exploring the software.
3. Prevent errors and display system status
Enterprise UX design should take into consideration common errors that typically can’t be undone in other enterprise solutions.
If the system is built to combat these commonly occurring mishaps, the users will feel much more comfortable using the application.
This error prevention measure allows users to feel an extra sense of security, which is crucial for a complex system like enterprise software.
Tips For Enterprise UX Design
1. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture
With enterprise UX design, it’s very easy to get lost in the myriad of features and functionalities. However, before even thinking about these individual components granularly, it’s critical to take a step back and gain an understanding of the entire scope of the software application.
Understand how things are implemented today for every page, state, and component.
A sound enterprise UX design system should include the software application in its entirety, from the most critical functions to the outdated legacy pages.
Find out if there is a pattern for similar components, spot inconsistent patterns, and identify components that are unique to your dashboard design.
Not all components of the current system have to make it to the new software. This practice will help you determine if you can merge any elements and which ones must be unique in the new enterprise UX design system.
2. Build for the end-users
“You can’t understand good design if you do not understand people.”
Here’s the thing.
Usually, the customer and the end-users are not always the same. While an organization’s executive may work on building the dashboard web design and enterprise UX design, they may not be the people who actually spend their entire day using the software application.
A good system helps the entire organization deliver better results as a whole; however, there are a few departments that may benefit over others.
Enterprise UX design should focus primarily on these end-users’ wants, needs, and behaviors. They should have inside information about the context with which these people use the application.
This ability to analyze and empathize is crucial for building an intuitive dashboard design and an efficient enterprise UX design system.
For example, let’s say a company sells a subscription-based service and has an in-house help center. The call center would receive several hundred queries every single day.
Out of those, a few dozen queries are from customers who need to update their credit card credentials to keep enjoying the service.
This takes away valuable time that the company’s staff could use to work on issues that are more important and can directly impact sales.
A clean and intuitive dashboard design where the customer can self-update their credit card details can save this department a significant amount of time that can be focused elsewhere.
Focus on user personas and individual roles
Focusing on user personas instead of features and functionality is an excellent way to understand the real end-users. If the company doesn’t already have personas developed, consider user roles to help guide the enterprise UX design work.
Distinctively analyzing individual users is a brilliant way to reduce the complexity of the design system process.
Instead of focusing on meeting lengthy corporate requirements, design with the user’s wants, needs, and goals in the forefront and discard aspects that aren’t really necessary.
For example, if multiple levels of executives use the software application every day, it’s obvious that not all of them need the same features and functionalities.
Therefore, you can simplify the dashboard design for entry-level employees and make it highly intuitive for even a new employee.
As you move up the organizational hierarchy, their needs will get progressively more complicated. You can build complex enterprise UX design systems for advanced user roles.
3. Design for core enterprise needs
Businesses build an enterprise UX design system to either solve problems they may have in the workplace or simply to make their operational process more seamless.
While it may be impossible to predict the pitfalls that the organization may face in the future, here are a few aspects that all enterprise software applications have in common:
- Data model: Every software has a data model that defines which actions can or can’t be accepted. Spending time understanding the data model before building the enterprise UX design system can help avoid a lot of mistakes.
- Highly Customizable. When businesses focus their efforts on building an enterprise solution, they are not likely to use other services. Furthermore, when they do, the enterprise software should be able to seamlessly integrate these solutions.
- Ecosystem. Businesses will integrate their enterprise software with other solutions from third-party vendors and brands. If we ignore the technical jargon, this simply means that you need to create an ecosystem where it’s easy to sync different devices and accounts with each other.
4. Don’t underestimate visual design
Sometimes, businesses categorize visual design as superficial and brush aside the value it can provide. Visual design has immense functional value to solve challenges involving design complexity.
Enterprise software solutions, by default, have a lot of information and features to be included. This clogs the dashboard design with data and features.
Visual design can help compartmentalize data strategically and make the dashboard design more intuitive by merging relevant features and highlighting important information. It can help direct the user’s attention as they use the enterprise software.
It is challenging to eliminate complexities from the enterprise UX design; however, by focusing on the user’s needs and wants, you can build a product that reduces the confusion they may otherwise face.
5. Learning curves are not a bad thing
Customer software applications have to be simple to navigate. If the application makes the user think, they would simply switch to a different product instead of spending time to learn about it.
While building software products with a steep learning curve isn’t ideal for the customer ecosystem, that isn’t the case for enterprise software.
Enterprise users are employees who use the software every day for hours to get their job done. They don’t mind a steep learning curve since you need to incorporate a lot of features and functionalities into the enterprise UX design.
With time, they learn their way around the enterprise software. Therefore, a dashboard design that needs some time for users to navigate with ease isn’t a bad thing.
If you’ve built an efficient enterprise software that is designed to help boost the users’ productivity and performance, the users will appreciate it once they learn how to work with it.
6. Exercise caution while simplifying Enterprise UX design
Enterprise software applications are complex, multi-layered beasts. While we understand the importance of creating a minimalistic and straightforward dashboard design, it’s crucial to recognize that enterprise software solutions are meant to perform tasks that are inherently complex.
Therefore, don’t compromise on the functionality to develop a simple and clear dashboard design.
While customer UX design thrives on sleek user interfaces, enterprise UX design has to ensure that users can get their work done comfortably.
Building a visual system that keeps employees at the forefront is crucial for businesses. Enterprise UX design systems strongly influence the performance and productivity of the users and, in turn, directly impact the success of a business.
While enterprise software applications can seem restrictive with the amount of data and features, these limitations push enterprise UX designers to be even more creative.
You can use these tips to build an enterprise UX design system that employees will be delighted to use for years to come.
If you’re looking for a UX design agency to help you with your enterprise UX design, you can book a free consultation with our team.