Badly designed software frustrates users

Badly designed software leads to lost productivity time, according to an IFS survey.

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Badly designed software leads to lost productivity time, according to an IFS survey.

Enterprise applications company IFS questioned 1,010 business IT users and found that 94 percent of respondents are wasting time on poorly designed software.

Suppliers need to bring design elements from consumer websites into the workplace to improve functionality, the survey concluded. Embedded application search, integrated communities, enhanced navigation, and individualisation options are just some of the design elements and functions that users would like to see imported into their business applications.

Respondents were asked to identify the top three causes of wasted time when using enterprise software - including enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI), customer relationship management (CRM) and financial applications.

Most respondents – 20% - cited 'learning to use different modules and applications' as the most difficult aspect and the biggest time waster. Another 19 percent said that searching for relevant information held in the application was a problem. While, 14 percent had difficulties moving through business processes that are not grouped together or ordered in a logical way.

In the UK, respondents found handling different modules far more frustrating than other countries, with 29 percent identifying it as a top time waster.

Only one in five said business applications were easy to use, whereas more than a third of respondents identified the web as providing the most intuitive user experience.

Web applications received the highest country-rating from UK IT users, at 40 percent, with PC-based email systems such as Outlook only reaching 23 percent, followed by business applications on 17 percent.

About 13% of respondents were also frustrated by the time wasted dealing with difficulties in transferring data between systems, and 11% found it difficult to navigate around and between different applications.

"Well-designed business applications that incorporate elements like search, networking, easy navigation and individualisation are what people are now demanding in the workplace – based on their personal use of the web," said Alastair Sorbie, chief executive of IFS. “One of the key reasons for installing enterprise software is to simplify the running of business processes so that decision making can be improved."

"Organisations who respond have the opportunity to remove frustrating time-wasters for staff involved at all stages, providing opportunities for them to be more productive both individually and collectively," he added.

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