Let’s start the detailed part of the series by focusing on Experience.  The Modern Application Experience Pillar focuses on ensuring a great user experience.

Design Aspect

Traditional Applications required users to adapt to how the application was designed.

Modern Applications are designed to work the way users prefer to work.

One of the most significant trends of the past decade has been the infusion of user-centric design into application development.  The trend, not surprisingly, is strongly represented in the consumer space where companies vie for the attention and ultimately the loyalty of their customers.  At these companies, product owners partner closely with user experience teams to ensure that the product supports the way that consumers want to work.

This is a significant shift from the way that corporations have traditionally functioned.  In the past, there was no competition with internal applications.  Users had to conform to the tools their enterprise provided.  Today, there is indirect competition between a company’s internal applications and public alternatives.  Publicly available applications are designed to attract a large, loyal user base through exceptional user experiences that reset expectations about what’s possible.  Consumers, in turn, are demanding similarly well designed applications from their IT staff.  Consumers expect enterprise applications to work the way that they want to work when they want to work with them.  This is driving IT organizations to incorporate user experience design into their application development process.

For example, a financial advisor at a bank could not choose the software that they used to create financial illustrations for clients.  However, that same employee has access to public, web-based tools that perform similar functions and can use those applications to augment the information provided to clients.  Each time that the financial advisor uses the well-designed public site successfully, they will increasingly ask, “Why can’t my company’s application work just as well?”

The internal application must adapt to meet the employee’s functional and user experience requirements in order to be seen as successful within the organization.

Successful IT Organizations engage design and user experience teams during application envisioning.  This allows organizations to better understand their user challenges and how to build applications that support the tasks that their users perform on a daily basis.  This is done in collaboration with the product, user experience and application development teams.

Join us next week for the next of the business drivers – Access.