We live in a rapid, evolving and lean world where technology is more critically intertwined with our daily lives, both for pleasure and for business. No longer is software there just to perform a calculation or record information, it is becoming part of our life and expanding what we can do, and people expect an enjoyable experience engaging with it.
B2B “enterprise” software is lagging its peers when it comes to UX
Why is this? Three reasons pop to mind:
When software has a very fragmented user base, all using the software in their individual capacity, you have a more democratic user landscape where the software company needs to make each user is happy in order to retain them. They will leave if it is not a nice experience. However, for corporates it is often pure functionality that drives whether businesses take on a provider. And once chosen, the users at their company have little say on whether it is providing a nice experience or not (and cannot voluntarily leave the software).
New tech companies have focussed more on B2C and C2C
Whilst the post dot-com software providers have successfully infiltrated (and created) software for B2C and B2B, the penetration is much lower in the B2B market. Has this meant that the newer lean product and development ways of working in tech, which put a large weight on usability and UX vs. traditional software, have not filtered their way through into B2B software as much?
User expectations play a big part. The people at large businesses who make the many of the decisions, particularly in more traditional industries, have not grown up with software tools ingrained into their daily lives. They often do not expect a seamless user experience, so it is not a deal breaker for software companies who have them as clients.
As a UX designer myself, I want to make our customers happy
I carry out endless numbers of user interviews as part of the user research that flows into our product development. I feel the pain that our target users currently have with using the current software available to them. I try to stick to the following key principles when doing my work:
The most important, and often most overlooked part of the puzzle. How do individual users use DeepStream for their work? Do they need a user manual, or is it completely obvious? Am I making their lives easier?
There is an incentive to create a functionality driven monster that is hard to use but allows you to do the most niche things that you never will actually do. Our vision is that procurement is much more simple than it is made out to be.
Industrial procurement has mountains of emails, documents, correspondence. I call it “informational overload”. Our software breaks information down into smaller chunks, so you can see exactly what you need in procuring equipment and/ or services, making the experience more manageable and less overwhelming.
The oil and gas industry is based on transparency and all good relationships are based on trust. In order to meet the expectations of users and to gain confidence, you need to make every effort to help them understand why they have to complete actions and what would happen when doing so.
DeepStream has designed a network which is easy to trust by integrating multi-step verifications, permissions and audit trails for just about everything.