Poor design hinders business IT users

Design elements must be imported from consumer websites into the workplace to improve working practice, according to an IFS survey.

The global enterprise applications company questioned 1,010 business IT users and found that 94 per cent of respondents are wasting time on poorly designed software.

Respondents were asked to point out the top three causes of wasted time when using enterprise software - including enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI), customer relationship management (CRM) and financial applications.

The top rated time waster, chosen by 20 per cent of users, was handling different modules and applications, while 19 per cent said that searching for relevant information held in the application was a problem. Meanwhile, 14 per cent had difficulties moving through business processes that are not grouped together or ordered in a logical way.

IFS also found that only one in five respondents identified business applications used in the workplace as easy to use, whereas 27 per cent found web and email applications simple.

Up to 13 per cent of respondents felt frustrated by the time they wasted dealing with difficulties in transferring data between systems, while 11 per cent found navigating around and between different applications time-consuming.

According to the chief exective of IFS Alastair Sorbie, embedded application searches, integrated communities, enhanced navigation and individualisation options are just some of the design elements and functions that can enhance productivity.

"The key reason for installing enterprise software is to simplify the running of business processes so that decision making can be improved," he said. "Well-designed business applications that incorporate elements like search, networking, easy navigation and individualisation are what people are now demanding in the workplace."

"Organisations who respond have the opportunity to remove frustrating time-wasters for staff involved at all stages, providing opportunities for them to be more productive both individually and collectively," he added.