Once an afterthought, the user experience (UX) has increased in importance over the years as business software companies recognize UX as a key component of customer experience. Gone are the days of having a developer put menus and links wherever they want to. Instead, companies now strive to create a better user experience and can agonize over minor icon colors, menu link structures, and image placements.
But how exactly should you evaluate when and what to configure in your software? Here are a few tips to keep your UX relevant and to make sure it meets the needs of your customers…
Prioritize practicality in your user experience – It can be alluring to blame all the faults of your software on the UX, hoping you get the green light for a full redesign. However, trying to reinvent the UX wheel by putting your menus on the bottom of the page or trying a crazy new design isn’t the answer. Humans are creatures of habit and are more likely to select a software that is similar to past experiences they’ve had with other technology products. It has that feeling of comfortable familiarity that we all migrate to subconsciously. Unless you are a large company that can afford to fail by taking bold steps, heading down a safer UX route is almost always the way to go.
Be flexible with your software, but only to a point – In a world of personalization – from news streams to event suggestions and everything in between – business software that lets your users customize certain aspects can be appealing. Choosing key areas of your software and adding minor customizations, such as an open area on a popular page for loading outside scripts, can be a nice selling point. With this said, you need to keep your core software intact. Agents can’t help customers efficiently if your software solution is fully fluid and it can also put a strain on other areas of the business including documentation and business development.
Let customers configure anything that has their branding – Many companies are very proud of their brand and you should respect this. When it comes to external communication, don’t corner them with limited options. Let them configure any assets such as emails or customer self-service portals originating from your software so it highlights their own branding and colors. This can eliminate a lot of extra work for your customers and makes them feel more intertwined with your software. It can also result in a nice boost for customer happiness and helps with long-term customer retention.
To keep it short, configuring your software to create a better user experience is valuable to both you and your customers. Keep the UX practical, but don’t forget to be flexible as needed in key areas within the software to keep customers happy. Enabling them to use their own branding in certain areas also works well from a UX perspective to increase the stickiness of your software. Keeping the experience of your users top of mind is crucial to creating a software solution that people enjoy using on a daily basis because it makes their life easier.