Sage Advice US

Why you should prioritize user experience with tech purchases

Today’s business leaders are faced with an ever-growing list of technology assets to chose between—from cloud-based apps to analytics and remote computing systems. Knowing which ones are worth the spend—and which should be left to the wayside—can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. To find the right product, focus on user experience (UX).

While companies prioritize UX for their customers, they often neglect UX in the workplace, in many cases due to budget concerns. While it may be difficult to spend the money, UX is an important long-term investment. Consider that mobile users are five times more likely to quit a task if it isn’t mobile friendly: how much work is a team quitting because the tech is confusing, making the task-at-hand too difficult?

To make sure to make the best UX-based choices in new technology, look beyond things like price and prioritize long-term benefits.

Look Beyond the Price Tag

As a businessman, I know a focused budget is important, especially in the early months and years of a company’s growth. But what many company leaders do not understand is that the right technology—and UX—can help improve your company’s efficiency so much that it won’t just pay for itself—it will pay dividends. For instance, Fisker Automotive reduced approval time on purchase orders by 60 percent just by making the process mobile-friendly. Paint reseller Dunn Edwards saw higher profit margins and minimized training costs when it updated its CRM with new UX features. The right UX means cost savings—not just a higher spend. Keep that in mind when doing your product research.

Keep It Simple

When it comes to UX, simpler is always better. I have a friend who worked for a contract engineering firm, and the company had acquired software to help track its proposals throughout the writing, submitting and win/loss process. When she started, they handed her a 300-page binder of notes covering how to uses the software because it was so incredibly complicated. Sometimes, she spent entire days trying to run a single report. The software might have been cheaper, but it was overly complicated, not intuitive, glitchy and unreliable. It also ended up costing in lost time.

Let Your Employees Decide

When evaluating your tech options, make sure to have the end user test them. Get employees’ input—and implement it. It will go a long way in ensuring wide-spread adoption, which is essential for long-term success. What’s more, employees will appreciate feeling like their opinions were heard in the process.

“Instead of making employees feel inadequate, your user interfaces could make them feel smart—a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Elizabeth Rosenzweig, principal consultant at the User Experience Center at Bentley University. In short, there is no excuse for tech to hold your employees—or your company—back in today’s marketplace. After all, what’s the benefit of a tech revolution if you aren’t using that tech to help your own company grow?