Investment in workforce management technology is a major decision for companies. Ultimately, new systems are supposed to increase employee satisfaction, ramp up productivity, and eliminate unnecessary administrative work. Yet it’s not just about the functionality; how easy it is to learn and navigate the software’s interface is also important. One of the biggest motivators for supervisors and employees to get full advantage from high-potential value technology is ease of use. Here’s a closer look at how to define ease of use and why it matters for the employee experience.
Understanding Ease of Use
Employers with legacy systems often complain that they never saw the expected return on investment because the old software was too difficult to learn and use. Internal IT departments spend months implementing and configuring complex survey packages. Managers and staff spend hours or even days in onsite and remote training sessions. Many software packages lacked intuitive interfaces, easy to use functionality, or pleasing design. As a result, systems designed to make workforce management processes simpler may have actually created more roadblocks and challenges. Critical features like employee self-service or digitally filing time and attendance information were resisted. Today, the trend is changing and workforce management technologies are being creating with the user experience in mind. Additionally, based on past experiences, companies are now prioritizing ease of use as a critical feature when evaluating software packages.
Gamification and User Experience Design
Today’s users expect to be able to access software from any device, from a smartphone to a tablet to a computer. App design is influencing the design of corporate technology, and user expectations of the overall application experience. Users want maximum flexibility and functionality, preferably in a form that’s both visually pleasing and interesting. As a result, new technology and user displays today are simple and easy, drawing on the latest developments and innovations in user experience design.
Simplicity is also driving the “gamification” of new software. People engage the functionality just because it is fun to use. Besides having all the power that new technology has behind it, companies are finally realizing their returns because the software makes people smile. While the term gamification can bring a variety of different ideas to mind, in practice it can be simple features that integrate with the interface. Users may be visually represented by interesting avatars. They may be rewarded for completing tasks, or for completing tasks within certain timeframes. Playfully designed progress monitors can help users visually track their progress against goals or virtual badges may be given to employees with perfect attendance records, for example.
Large corporate technology investments could be well-served to prioritize functionality and contributions to the bottom line. But focusing on ease of use as a defining criterion has several benefits. It can help to increase the adoption rate among employees, as well as satisfaction levels. Ensuring that your team has an easy-to-use system can also be a simple way to make their jobs more interesting, while also making them easier.