The B2C market is dominated by those organisations that everyone knows and loves including Facebook, Google and Amazon. One of the reasons for their popularity is the fact that they are all just so simple to use. There is no need for training and no need to look at a user guide – it’s obvious how you operate them. Look at Google for example – its simplicity is its genius, a white page with a search box; a UI that has allowed them to destroy their competitors and dominate globally. This level of intuitiveness is also spreading to B2C tools; consider iPads which are so easy to use toddlers play with them.
This level of easiness and efficiency is now becoming expected. When a user transfers from their personal life to their business life why should their business applications be more complicated than the ones they use on their lunch hour? Business software needs to take a leaf out of Facebook where no one has been taught how to use it, people just get it.
Ease of use should be one of the key objectives for Software providers today with lots of business heavy traditional providers now rushing to re-design their clunky products so they are intuitive and simple to use. Historically an excellent revenue stream for Software companies was training, getting a trainer onsite to teach people how to use their system was a good way of improving engagement and of course improving revenue. This new trend should see this start to decline into almost non-existence. At Red Robot Systems we do not have any trainers and honestly none of us have the skill sets to be good trainers. In my previous business the company employed two excellent trainers and there is no way I could do the job they did – I simply don’t have the talent to do that job, so we follow this approach – where our software is intuitive and easy to use to the point of being obvious for users.
There are lots of examples of companies that have used this idea to become very successful – Slack for example. What they did is, with the greatest amount of respect, not ground-breaking; they just applied social messaging principles to the workplace. They simply understood that this approach would mean getting users who are more engaged with their product than the alternatives.
There is still a lot of business based software out there that has not caught onto this philosophy, there is still a lot of bad UI out their offering unpleasant navigation and convoluted interfaces. Any software guilty of this needs to be changed because consumers simply won’t tolerate it for much longer.