I’ve been having a visceral reaction to badly designed applications lately. And I’ve come to a conclusion on what is causing this reaction that I’d like to share:
Enterprise applications (and the like) need to meet the expectations of today’s users. The consumer internet, Facebook, and mobile apps have opened the eyes of call center employees (and the like) to a simplicity and ease-of-use that is so intuitive and pleasant, it’s addictive.
Enterprise applications have a duty to make the user (a human!) that will be interacting with it for countless hours a day, feel competent, respected and valued in their work. The employee’s economic well-being is tied to their ability to use these applications efficiently. Their mental well being follows.
Enterprise applications are often guilty of cognitive robbery. It is cruel to frustrate people and steal their mental energy in the process of finding ways to efficiently navigate and operate a poorly designed application or system.
Hug the world. Make compassionate software.
Others have written more eloquently on it: