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Why Should the Designer Like Enterprise UX

25 Feb 2018 05:42
Often, working with corporate applications is perceived only as a very protracted and conservative process, not only by designers. From the point of view of development, specialists repel routine interaction with legacy code and sometimes absurd levels of complexity, in terms of design - too tight constraints for the design process or even its absence. Nevertheless, why do many designers continue to invest in this time, build around this area of ​​specialization and apply the full force of their extraordinary abilities and skills in this particular area? Let's talk about why design for enterprise systems is a challenge.

What is Enterprise UX?
Enterprise UX is aimed to build user’s experience for applications designed to automate various business processes within large corporations. At first glance, it may seem that these systems are designed to solve business problems, not their users’, which runs counter to Human Centered Design. Many designers are frightened off by the idea that it is impossible to build an organic design process, because in such products design is covered with the capabilities of distributed development teams. For them, the speed of closing tasks can often be more important than the ease of interaction, and the need for design in general is not taken seriously.
Yes, it really happens. Nevertheless, after a large number of projects with similar conditions at the beginning and the opposite result at the end, I can say that the construction of a comfortable and correct design process is completely in the hands of the designer, despite the fact that it sounds much simpler than what is actually going on.
According to my observations, the situation is improving every year: the industry is changing, and the need for a holistic approach to usability is no longer the subject of discussions and disputes, but rather a universally recognized fact. Large corporations increasingly realize that only by investing in UX, they will be able to adjust internal difficulties, reduce spending on development, support and training of employees. And together with this, to increase the level of loyalty and efficiency of employees, become a company at the cutting edge and create a serious competitive advantage.

Enterprise UX as the most interesting test in a career
Projects in this domain are more complex in everything from the Discovery and Research phase to the completion of a full-fledged information architecture and logic with hundreds of use cases and dozens of user groups. This is a really big plus, because this level of intellectual involvement keeps in focus, stimulates the movement and never stops learning the new.

Contrary to all the above, the opportunities for both professional and personal growth are great indeed. Of course, this all directly depends on the level of maturity of the specialist. However, with proper interaction and settlement of not the easiest work processes and controversial situations, in the beginning, you can get huge opportunities for user testing and direct impact on global scales. As well as the opportunity to make a tangible contribution to the work of a well-known corporation.
Definitely worth trying to turn the existing order of things and show with your own experience that the solutions to complex problems can be simple and elegant. The user experience is really aimed at the user, and the design of corporate applications can be beautiful, inspiring and do not look like a tool of torture for anyone who interacts with it.
The majority of such projects have quite healthy budgets, therefore, with proper communication with business, one can try new approaches, build his own methodology and expertise, implement large-scale initiatives and become the inspiration for global undertakings.
In my opinion, the most important thing is to correctly understand the initial situation, to deeply analyze the position and motivations of the business, thereby gaining confidence and being able to defend the interests of users, making the right steps towards finding compromises.
Business objectives. At the earliest stage, it is important to deeply understand not only the requirements of business, but also seriously analyze the data models and business processes that are the basis for the application. Compared to many other applications, corporate products often carry large volumes of interrelated data that require detailed analysis, close interaction with product owners / business analytics and, very importantly, trust relationships with key stakeholders. On the other hand, it is possible to perceive the situation easier, but it is unlikely that the information architecture will be reconstructed at the proper level, from which the most unpredictable and unpleasant problems will subsequently flow.
User needs. Many designers, are driven by the desire to make the interaction as convenient as possible for the immediate users and to protect their interests. At the research stage, it is critically important to understand the goals, motivations and frustrations of users, but it is also necessary to understand how to move away from the replication of the existing data structure and move towards building a product centered on the needs, tasks and workflows of users.
Technological limitations. One of the biggest mistakes that a UX designer can make in working on a similar product is the lack of communication with the development team or even the competition for making certain decisions. In grocery companies everythings is much easier, but if we talk about outsourcing, then this should concentrate additional attention. I am firmly convinced that a good result can be obtained only if the teams of design and web development correctly understand the goals and tasks, as well as constantly support and help to each other.
As a result, if we talk about Enterprise UX, then the creation of sketches, wireframes and design directly is not the most urgent activity. To fulfill a global task of this kind, the Discovery and Research processes should occupy an essential part of your design process. Each phase of the design cycle deserves a separate article, and here it is important to understand that in Enterprise UX, the first two listed above are the ones that are strategically important.
Conclusions
Enterprise UX has a lot of features, but designing user experience and creating a design that actually allows thousands, tens or even hundreds of thousands of people to work more efficiently and enjoy daily routine is worth the trouble that lies ahead. Now more and more large corporations are embarking on a path of global usability improvement - this is connected with the desire to port old systems to new technologies with the maximum benefit, and with the desire to compete both in their market and in the labor market.
Of course, Enterprise UX can not be liked and approached by everyone without exception, as it definitely will not become an idle creation in the intervals between business trips. Work in this domain, according to my observations, is changing noticeably. In the enterprise, the "Good enough is no longer enough" era begins, and perhaps this is the very opportunity to work on creating something truly global.
Enterprise UX can not be called the most popular segment for designers, especially considering that almost all the development of enterprise systems on our local market occurs on outsourcing. This domain is very intellectually demanding, with a significant impact on the huge scale of people and money. In order to organically exist within such projects or products, you will need to spend a lot of effort, endurance and patience, develop a truly mature approach to solving problems and be able to turn fossilized software development monuments of the late 90s - early 2000s into a truly elegant and convenient solutions. Alternatively, do something grand from scratch.
To do this, of course, you need to love it, and soon you will notice: every segment of the invested time is transformed into one of the most difficult, but exciting and rewarding experiences in your career as a designer.

About the author: Melisa Marzett is a prominent writer, who can discuss any topic in her vivid posts. You are welcome to read them at Smart Paper Writer Company.


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