When a company adopts a new technology, it makes a mistake of neglecting usability or user friendliness. It is critical to address this for the success of any change. It should never be overlooked.
Good usability can improve a new software and increases the chances of successful adoption. It can boost profitability or ROI of your business. User-friendliness can be applied to every operating system, end-user application, proprietary in-house application, and many more technologies.
What makes an application user-friendly?
Here is a list of 10 characteristics which will help you judge everything you roll out to your internal users, as well as anything you might be using yourself.
1: Simple to install or implement
Any operating systems (OS) to plug-ins should be easy to implement. Installation is the first point of contact for users, so it had better be a friendly process. Otherwise, they’re going to be afraid to begin using the tool. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an operating system or a single-client user application, the installation should be simple and well documented. The second the installation becomes complicated, users will bail and move on to something easier.
2: Easy to update or auto-updates
As with the installation, an application’s update process should be easy. If updates are complex, users will more than likely skip the process. This can often leave behind a trail of bad results, as many updates patch security holes, memory leaks, and other problems. Updates need to be simple enough to ensure that users continue to benefit from the hard work of the creators of the software. This is the main reason for success of SaaS based applications
Software is only as good as its Graphical User Interface. If the GUI is not well executed, people will have trouble with using the application or the software. One should design it well. It helps the user overcome the burden of change. Along with a good GUI — the quality of the software should also be as expected!
4: Efficient and effective
The new technology should be efficient. Optimized for seamless interaction with existing system is a must. It should help the users completing their jobs better than before. It should not get in the way of completing a task, nor pose any roadblocks for the users.
5: Aesthetically appealing and easy-to-navigate
Going with the trends while compromising on the ease of use is a big mistake! It is an unpleasant experience for the end user. The tried-and-true drop-down menu design has worked for years but is long overdue for an update — but this update should not come at the expense of user-friendliness.
6: Easy to remove/uninstall
Any technology should be easy to uninstall. Without a simple removal process, that software becomes cumbersome. And cumbersome is not user-friendly. As much as developers don’t want their users to remove their software, the removal process might be the last impression a software makes.
7: Doesn’t need third-party software
The third-party software comes in the form of antivirus, anti-spyware, and other protection-based tools. Without these tools, your computer is vulnerable to whatever the malevolent powers that be want to throw at you. This is not user-friendly, as it creates levels of complication that most average end users can’t deal with.
8: IT Support
When something goes wrong , it’s important that the end user can contact support to resolve the issue. If the technology offers nothing in the way of troubleshooting, the end user cannot sit and stare till they establish a contact.
9: Quality of service
The technology should meet the industry benchmarks. Problems begin to arise when the service provider does not adhere to standards. When users are affected by a lack of compliance to standards, they’ll face an unfriendly experience trying to get their tools to communicate with tools that do follow standards.
10: Effective error handling
What happens when a piece of technology encounters an error? Ideally, it should make the error known, at least to the developers. It’s not the end users’ responsibility to report bugs, but giving them the option to report bugs can go a long way toward helping that technology improve. Also, it should let the users know there was a problem and what they can do to help solve it — such as sending a bug report to the developers.Add to favorites