Software I'm Forced To Use

July 14, 2020

The Rant

Hallmarks of internal software, enterprise software and government software. That is, software I’m forced to use.

Everything moves

Banners bounce into place. Clicking a button scrolls you up or down the page.

Notices are jarring

There’s a warning or hazard symbol at every turn. Even if you’ve not done anything wrong.

Navigation is like spaghetti

The path within and between pages goes up and down and left to right. It’s not a linear path to the outcome you want to achieve.

Opaque explanations

The titles and labels of buttons rarely say what something does and how you can use it. They assume you know what they’re for.

Useless features copied from other products

For some reason there’s always a cart and checkout. And a ‘Favourites’. And trend analysis. (A particularly bad example of unnecessarily using trend analysis is when ADP told me my pay had dropped compared to the previous month. In fact it was just the month after my annual bonus.)

Solution

Build a simple website.

Don’t build an app. Make it clear to understand. Make things really fast. Reduce movement like pop-ups and animations on each page to a minimum.

Understand what people want to achieve.

Test whether they can achieve it and cut anything that doesn’t help. Just because ‘Favorites’ are in other products, doesn’t mean it needs to be in yours. That pie chart might look good, but it makes it impossible to work out how much tax you paid last month.

Stop using third parties’ confusing, expensive, closed systems.

They’re slow for users. And hard for to organizations to modify. They convince you that what they’re doing is terribly clever and make the inner workings so complicated that you have to believe them. Salesforce is a prime offender.

Resources

These will quickly help:

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