Enterprise UX design is a specialized field within user experience design that focuses on designing interfaces for internal enterprise-level applications rather than external consumer-facing products.
The main objective of enterprise UX design is to create an efficient and user-friendly experience that facilitates employee workflows. To achieve this, enterprise UX designers need to have a deep understanding of the inner workings of an enterprise and conduct extensive preparatory work to establish the goals. In this article, we will explore the unique characteristics of enterprise UX design and provide seven essential tips for designing effective enterprise interfaces.
Enterprise UX Design:
In contrast to consumer UX design, enterprise UX design focuses on designing interfaces for internal enterprise-level applications instead of external consumer-facing products. Enterprise UX designers work closely with project stakeholders, subject matter experts, and end-users to understand the workflows and pain points specific to an organization’s internal processes.
Traditional UX design tools such as user personas, journeys, and usability testing are also utilized in enterprise UX design to ensure an efficient and user-friendly experience for employees.
Enterprise UX Design vs. Consumer UX Design
For those unfamiliar with enterprise UX design, it can be confusing to distinguish it from traditional UX design. The key difference lies in the expertise of the end-users for whom the software is being designed. Consumer UX design focuses on creating intuitive and immediate structures and processes for novice users in retail spaces who may not be subject matter experts.
In contrast, enterprise UX design is geared towards internal enterprise-level applications used by employees who have a deep understanding of the organization’s workflows and processes. Therefore, enterprise UX design may provide specific technical abilities that could overwhelm a novice user but are necessary for the workflow of an enterprise.
Enterprise UX design follows a similar approach to traditional UX design but with the opposite end-users. Instead of designing for novice consumers, enterprise UX design caters to employees who are experts in the specialty of their organization. The challenge for enterprise systems is to provide in-depth and specific technical processes to accomplish operational actions while remaining easy to navigate.
Working Of Enterprise UX Design:
Enterprise UX design involves designing processes and workflows unique to each organization, despite existing common principles between both disciplines. These workflows often involve a diverse set of users with different permissions, goals, and directives. Therefore, careful consideration and pre-planning are necessary to ensure that the enterprise UX design accommodates the needs of all users.
Adaptable and Adjustable:
In addition to catering to the unique workflows and processes of an organization, enterprise UX design must also be easily adaptable and adjustable to accommodate changes in internal hierarchy and workflows that may shift to adapt to the market.
Security and UX Design:
As internal systems are likely to contain sensitive information about clients and employees, security is a major focus in enterprise UX design. However, security measures should not negatively impact the usability of the design. Therefore, a balance must be struck between security and usability in enterprise UX design.
Importance of Enterprise UX Design
Enterprise UX design is essential because it can significantly improve productivity within an organization’s workforce. Many companies still use systems built decades ago, which limits their ability to take advantage of new features and technologies that could speed up processes. This not only puts them at a disadvantage compared to competitors but can also lead to increased employee attrition.
By investing in well-considered enterprise UX design, organizations can modernize their systems and provide employees with more efficient and user-friendly interfaces, ultimately reducing turnover.
Manageable and Easier Operations:
It’s not surprising that user productivity increases when enterprise software is redesigned with a focus on UX design. Smart design makes essential tasks easier to perform, operations become more manageable. and workflows become less burdensome.
Apart from productivity, leading to increased employee satisfaction. In fact, employee satisfaction is often a key indicator of the return on investment (ROI) of UX design.
In addition to improving productivity and employee satisfaction, enterprise UX design can also enable more informed decision-making within an organization. By utilizing data visualization and automating traditionally manual processes, the margin of error is greatly reduced, and organization executives can more easily oversee and utilize data collected over a set period. This not only improves the accuracy of decision-making but also enhances the organization’s competitiveness within the industry.
By keeping revenue streams healthy and minimizing the risk of obsolescence, enterprise UX design can play a crucial role in the long-term success of an organization.
Seven Takeaways For Enterprise UX Design
Conduct user research:
Even though end-users are not customers, conducting user research is still crucial in enterprise UX design. To create an enterprise software application that meets the needs and goals of internal users, designers should conduct research similar to how they would if the application was built for consumers.
User personas, interviews, and usability testing are excellent tools to gather more information about the internal users of an organization’s application and create a solution that achieves the desired effects of a redesign.
Simply the Room Interior:
Tip 2 suggests simplifying the user interface of enterprise software applications, as these apps can be complex and overwhelming for users, leading to downtime and frustration. To address this issue, designers should prioritize simplicity by minimizing clutter and simplifying information architecture.
Clear labeling systems and reducing the number of options can also help prevent overwhelm. Moreover, designers can use a design system approach that allows for easy updates to be seamlessly integrated into the system.
Break down the user workflow:
Tip number 3 is to break down the user workflow. In enterprise UX design, team members often have a non-linear workflow, so the user interface should reflect this. Designers should have a thorough understanding of the workflows that the system needs to support through its interface.
Tip number four suggests that designers should prioritize accessibility in their enterprise UX design. This means making sure that the application is used for individuals with visual, auditory, and motor disabilities. Ensuring accessibility is not only the ethical thing to do but is also a compliance requirement in many cases. Making the application accessible to everyone can improve workplace culture and morale.
To improve the design workflow, it is recommended to use Agile methodology which involves stakeholders in the overall process early on. Unlike the traditional Waterfall methodology, which can result in design changes towards the end of the development process and cause delays, Agile methodology breaks down the development into smaller sections called sprints, typically lasting two to four weeks.
After each sprint, stakeholders can provide feedback, which allows for adjustments to be made throughout the process. This results in more thoughtful design choices and stronger MVPs at the end of the development process.
Design systems are crucial for enterprise UX design
as they provide consistency and coherence to a potentially disjointed application. In large projects, utilizing a design system is an efficient approach to design as it establishes a shared language among designers and stakeholders. Design systems can also be used to reinforce existing branding or establish new branding for the application, although this is less important if the application is for internal use only.
In addition to promoting brand consistency, design systems facilitate the implementation of updates, which can even be handled internally depending on the complexity of the system. This improves ROI and ensures that the software is future-proofed for years to come.
Consistent testing and iterate
Enterprise UX designs are important in enterprise software design because these applications are used by a diverse group of people with different objectives across the entire organization. This can make designing a functional interface challenging.
To address this, designers should continuously test and iterate enterprise designs until they find a solution that accommodates the largest number of users possible. This process may take some time, as usability testing and gathering feedback are necessary before designers can make incremental improvements.
Enterprise UX Designer: How to help out?
TDTRG is a company that offers expertise in UX design for enterprise software. They recognize that enterprise UX design follows many of the same principles as traditional UX design but also requires an understanding of the unique challenges and differences specific to enterprise-level projects.
TDTRG has experience working on enterprise projects for members of the S&P 500 in industries such as insurance, financial services, and legal. Their services include UX audits, legacy system redesigns, bespoke software development & design, and design systems for enterprise-level organizations. If you’re looking to improve your organization’s operations through user-friendly design, TDTRG may be a good fit for you.