Importance of user-friendly software applications
In the present scenario, almost every business seems to have an incredible idea of developing software applications but unfortunately due to the severe lack of technical expertise, they fail to put things into practice. And that’s when the assistance of a reliable software development company comes into play. The world seems to be craving for more and more software’s and who thought that one day mere basic messaging apps such as WhatsApp would be capable enough to turn a business into a multi-million dollar project? Software development is one such major phenomenon that no longer needs to be acknowledged; it’s a major shift taking place across the globe.
Now can you name me some of the best apps available in the Google play store or the Apple store? Well, Whatsapp, Facebook, Google Drive, Instagram, Dropbox, Amazon, Spotify, Youtube and so forth. Now can you tell me what is common among these apps? Do you know what is that one fine ingredient that makes these apps a cut above? It’s their user-friendliness.
The following post focuses on the significance of user-friendliness in any software applications development project whether it’s small or big. You see it has been assumed that almost 90% of businesses, especially the small ones, do not take full advantage of the technology. Fortunately, that’s certainly not the case for mid-size and large-scale organizations. You see these people do have plenty of technical resources and help available who ensure how to integrate such software applications and technology in the best possible way.
What is meant by user-friendliness in software?
Well, when you happen to choose a user-friendly software applications for your organization, it means that you are incorporating one such software that won’t bother your staff or make their lives miserable but at the same time assist them to buy in and adopt seamlessly.
As the name implies, user-friendly software is a kind of software applications that is easy to implement and use. It doesn’t really matter whether your staff is techie or non-techie but such kind of softwares can certainly assist well in making their work lives seamless and hassle-free. Now do not misunderstand me here, I am not trying to say that the software isn’t complex or feature-rich behind the scenes or that any random person can simply get started with it. For example, no matter how easy the accounting software is, it can seem pretty daunting in the eyes of a lame person, especially one who doesn’t have any idea of what a general ledger is. In technical terms, when you can observe a smooth flow in the user interface of the software design then it is said to be user-friendly software. Now, what makes software user-friendly?
What makes software user-friendly?
Well, some certain qualities or criteria must be considered to make the software applications more user-friendly and more likable.
#1 Easy to install
One of the obvious factors to take into consideration here is that the software must be easy to install. I mean imagine a situation where one particular software applications or technology takes hours and hours to install or integrate with different existing procedures, then what will you do? I mean you are running a business and I am sure you must have tons of things to take care of. Fortunately, today more and more cloud-based software applications is seen instead of on-premises ones. So what happens here is there is no need for any kind of local installations.
Implementing tech within your existing space is never easy, in fact, it takes lots and lots of effort before you even plan to do so. Get ready with a reliable project team and provide them a certain time to get trained with the software applications and how to make the most of it. And even if you see it from the user’s point of view, one of the major turn-offs for them is the complicated installation procedure.
#2 Easy to update
Apart from a seamless installation, the software applications must be easy to update. You see when the updates are complex, users most of the time tend to skip the procedure and end up using the same old version again and again which is absolutely not the right thing to do. As a result, this leads to bad results and you can lose your hands of a plethora of security patches, memory leaks and other issues which keep on arising with time.
Now in order to develop user-friendly software applications, you have to ensure that the updates are simple enough and users do get benefitted from the hard work of the creator of the software. In case, if they don’t update at regular intervals, the emerging issues tend to make this software more vulnerable and less secure.
#3 Seamless Navigation
I am sure you must have been well-acquainted with the term seamless navigation. In fact, what you may not know is that a user interface can say a lot about a particular software. I mean when a particular software is hard to navigate or riddled with, this surely means that the user interface is not well-designed. And of course, an intuitive design makes it extremely easy for the users to adopt the tool. In addition, the software will never be a misfit especially when you try integrating this one with your existing options.
In addition to this, the main objective of using any kind of software applications or technology is to increase the efficiency and productivity of the organization. I mean there is no point in developing one that doesn’t help at all. Try creating a solution that makes the job way easier and better and not the other way around.
Much like humans, even no software is perfect. Yes, several things can go wrong in the development or deployment of software. So it is very important to hire a reliable team of software developers who can help in developing one that turns out to be effective in regards to error-handling. Imagine there is an error in the software and it just neither displays any kind of warning nor it tries to rectify the issue. What to do? Here’s when troubleshooting is needed. You see, end users are never responsible for reporting bugs. All they can do is call for relevant support and allow them to resolve the issue. Of course, in this scenario, several third-party tools and technologies can be used but again there are fair chances of the same third-party tool not being user-friendly.
#5 Attractive and consistent design elements
Have you ever wondered why there is a lot of gushing going around about design consistency in software? Well, when such things happen the UI becomes pretty simple and even the end users can easily become familiar with it. In fact, users tend to recall all the predictable patterns in the behavior of the software and get to know it pretty well in a pretty short span of time.
You see users most of the time don’t even care about if the UI is pretty or not, because for them aesthetics will always be secondary to functionality. In fact, there are times when looks, feel and functionality go hand in hand and this is how a seamless user experience can be created.
If your software comprises all the aspects mentioned above then it is said to be extremely user-friendly. Of course, developing a user-friendly, highly scalable and robust solution can be quite a costly venture but on and all, it will be worth considering. What exactly happens when you incorporate user-friendly software within your organization?
- Employees can be more productive
- Collaboration becomes way easier
- Requires less end-user training and support
- More and more candidates would be willing to work in an environment that’s seamless and highly convenient.
- More value-added projects can be created
How to develop software that is more user-friendly?
An ideal software development process is said when both the client’s needs and how the end customer will use the software applications are well-taken care of. It’s not just about the great aesthetics but how efficiently they can provide value to the end user in the most convenient way possible. To meet these demands or to kill two birds with one arrow, you must understand why you are creating the particular product, what kind of issues it will solve or what necessities it will take care of. For that, you must consider all the below-mentioned pointers, I am sure they can be of much help!
#1 Get well-acquainted with your audience
One of the obvious yet important factors to take into account is getting well-acquainted with your target audiences. By doing so, you can easily figure out what kind of message or content most people care about these days. For example, let’s say you are given a chance to talk in front of hundreds of people and keep them hooked for a while. Well, how will you do so if you have no idea about them? Let’s say you start talking about accounting and finances but what if among those hundreds 80% of them are pursuing arts or some other subject instead of accountancy? So you see offering your target audiences exactly what they like is extremely important.
Now I am sure you must have been offered several pieces of advice in regard to knowing your audiences. However, what you are never ever told is what exactly you need to say to hook up the end users for the long haul. Take a pause for a second, can you market your business right now? This is something that will make you notice in the eyes of the end users. It’s like you are reading their minds, you know exactly what their pain points, challenges, ultimate objectives, desires and so forth are. In short, you must be able to articulate their problem. Here the buyer’s persona must be given prime importance. For this what you can do is:
- Review demographics, data and information available regarding your end user
- Create their persona
- Do ample research and conduct surveys
- Do not forget to see what your competitors are up to
- Take relevant and regular feedback
- Keep innovating and experimenting
#2 Research about the Market
Knowing your end users or audiences is not just enough, you must also understand what are the current market dynamics. Developing any application or software applications is a complicated procedure. And I am pretty sure after doing so much you don’t want your project to lag behind just because you didn’t work out on your basics, i.e. the market research. One of the best examples to think of is YouTube. The best video streaming app was launched back in 2005. Do you think there was any other ideal time other than this for the launch? I guess not! In addition to this, during that time several video-sharing applications came into existence but none of them could make significant changes in the market such as YouTube. I am sure you will definitely agree with this.
Now here comes the big question, from where one can gather relevant data? Some of the most trustworthy sources to consider include:-
- Google Trends
Analyzing your competitors is extremely important. By doing so, you might get to explore something never seen before. In fact, some of the most amazing ideas come from your competitors, I mean by spying on them. Here’s a crucial tip, do not take any kind of metrics or pieces of information for granted, no matter how you find it irrelevant.
#3 Keep Yourself intact to these Development Principles
Of course, no two softwares are the same! However, there are certain rules, regulations and guidelines to keep into consideration just to make software applications user-friendly. So what exactly are they?
- Keeping it simple – One of the obvious aspects to consider is simplicity. Right from installing the app to interacting with it well, easy documentation and whatnot, everything must be simple and easy to use!
- Aesthetically Pleasing – Judging has always been our favorite hobby and your product is no exception here. So making that first impression or looks are extremely important here. Moreover, it does add up to making the software applications more and more user-friendly.
- Intuitive – Having a well-designed GUI is all you need to cover up for certain flaws and issues. Of course, it won’t be able to replace good coding but can certainly enhance the overall value of the product.
- Efficient and Feature-Rich – Ultimately, it’s all about making your product effective, efficient and feature-rich. Make sure your product successfully accomplishes the tasks better than any other version.
And this is it for now! You see, developing an app or software applications does cost ample time, money and energy. So developing user-friendly software can certainly be a life-changing opportunity to make your business grow to the next level. I hope you did enjoy reading the post. If so, feel free to share among your peers and help us in spreading the word.
In case, if you still have any doubts or queries, feel free to mention that in the comment section below.