I’m not a ui/ux designer, interaction designer, or anything close to a real web designer — although I know my way around photoshop a bit – it’s safe to say I’m no expert in UI/UX design; I’m more of an entrepreneurial salesperson.
However, I have been working-in saas, web based, online systems 98% of my career and consider myself pretty capable of understanding the difference between crappy versus awesome UI/UX. There has been talk about the “consumerization of the enterprise” for a few years now. It seems like it started when 37 Signals and Less Everything were building app using ruby on rails that didn’t suck and cared about UI/UX. Later there were “social enterprise” solutions like Yammer, Salesforce Chatter, and now days you see companies like Slack, Respondly, and a bunch of other saas’y companies deploying very consumer-like applications for the enterprise.
Now the “the cloud” is real and b2b applications can act like consumer apps. I expect and demand UI/UX that doesn’t suck. I built a product (dashtab) to make using Salesforce less-painful, so I know that it’s possible to improve the UI/UX.
I mean come on, the fact that I have work in an office and on a computer all day sucks enough — I honestly rather be drinking wine and eating prosciutto in Italy — so at least make my work software beautiful, easy-to-use, and tell me what to do.
We kind of get very opinionated and informed user experiences in consumer applications; think Amazon, Facebook, etc. When I log into Amazon, holy shit does it know so much about me and does an amazing job of recommending me products to buy and execute a purchase.
Why doesn’t my company intranet or Salesforce experience do these things? Amazon knows the way I use their software so well. It kinda follows me around reminding me to do stuff like buy or look at their personalized recommendations. The only down side of Amazon is that it’s not the most beautiful site design ever but it works well and is intelligent.
I remember using ADP’s Payroll Services product when I worked for Twitter and almost cried every time I logged in. It never ceased to shock me how awful the UI/UX was — I mean it’s embarrassing. I literally never knew if the actions I executed were ever completed and never understood the UI/UX.
Software should be beautiful. It should be intelligent and data-driven. It should think for me. I should show up to work and my systems tell me what to do that day, week, month, etc. This is what we are building at one of my portfolio companies Spiderbook. a sales person logs into Spiderbook and it will spit out the exact companies and contacts that you should target.