Survey says: Software users want usability


From a study of enterprise software usability conducted by IFS:

* A full 60 percent of respondents said their enterprise software was somewhat difficult, very difficult or almost impossible to use. Only 9 percent characterized their applications as very easy to use.

* Almost 65 percent of respondents said that usability was a primary or secondary factor in selecting their enterprise software.

*People define software usability in terms of how much a software tool makes it easier to do their job and the degree to which that tool can be immediately understood without a manual or training.

* By a substantial margin, people find Web applications easiest to use, followed by PC-based applications. We believe the preference for Web-based applications has to do with the fact that many Web applications are simplified enough to work through a number of Web browsers and are designed to be easily comprehensible to someone using them for the first time.

* Respondents expressed a strong desire for applications that aid in collaboration.

* Respondents want applications to increasingly tie in with online tools and a greater degree of personalization of their user experience.

Users want software that works in predictable ways: When asked what challenges they encountered in their enterprise applications that resulted in lost or wasted time, two responses were in a statistical dead heat for the most popular (or unpopular) spot.

The need to search through complex navigation structures to find requisite information and functionality and the need to learn numerous modules/programs all with different navigation structures and conventions were the most often-cited time wasters.


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