Usability and User Experience Matter in Enterprise 2.0 Apps
Welcome to the second in a series of Friday’s Features showcasing the latest and greatest in enterprise apps usability. Many ERP software vendors including Epicor, IFS, Infor, Lawson, Microsoft Dynamics, and Syspro have made significant progress in improving usability as they progress to Enterprise 2.0 apps. As mentioned in a December 29th, 2008 post, customer expectations for Enterprise 2.0 apps include users rich user experiences, actionable insight, and business process orientation. The impact of overall user experience and user interaction often tie back to seven key Enterprise 2.0 characteristics:
- Richer user experiences – role based scenarios across various usability paradigms
- Business process orientation – support for end to end business processes
- Configurable change – designing with flexible models and rules instead of customizations
- Actionable insight – pulling all the key information to make a decision in the context of business process and user role
- Collaboration – providing secure private interactions and open and innovative connection with stakeholders
- Intelligent response – responding to contextual models and business events
- Hybrid deployment – deploying all models from on-premise, hosted, instance virtualization, multi-tenant SaaS, and cloud based BPO.
Part 2: IFS Brings Consumer IT Elements to Enterprise 2.0
In October 2007, IFS introduced Project Aurora at the IFS World Conference in Berlin. Key elements included a revamped user experience based on two themes: innovation and evolution. Aurora is a Rich Internet Application deployed using .NET. To date, benefits of the new Rich Internet Application (RIA) UI include faster response times, web protocols, security sandbox, less network traffic, and local desktop integration. The project focused on breaking down barriers to productivity and delivered inter-application navigation and enterprise search. Technologies behind the RIA innovations rely on AJAX – script run time, Java FX – Java VM, Flash – Flash run-time, Curl – Curl RTE, and WinForms, WPF – .NET CLR
- Design elements inspired by Apple’s iPod. The interface uses a range of new navigation technologies such as adaptable link pages, contextual breadcrumb navigation, and visual recent screens. From the left column, users are treated to strong design elements such as inter- application navigation, iPod like short cut icons, and quick entry data widgets.
- Personalized portals support a role based view. Aurora supports role based personalization capabilities and widgets. Users see relevant information as needed for a persona. Recent navigation screens provide visual design elements to navigate between recent screens. Right hand column elements include information rich alert bulletins, common actions, and status updates.
- Enterprise search addresses requirements for non-structured data. New search features help customers uncover lost assets, discounts, and other information.
- Built in analytics drive actionable insight. IFS Analytics tie to XL through Microsoft Office Business Applications concept.
Software Insiders Point of View Photo Stream (click image for details)
(Source: IFS )
Do you like how your apps UI currently look? Will user experience lead to cost savings for you? Is this enough to make you want to switch? What do you think of IFS’ UI? Post your thoughts or send me a private email to email@example.com.
Friday’s Feature: Snapshots in Enterprise 2.0 UX/UI
Next Friday’s Feature: Epicor 9
Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.