Google announced Android for Work today, unveiling its new tools and strategy for using Android devices in the workplace.
- PilotHouse Vendor Rating
- Big Data, Analytics and Virtualization
- Contact Center and Customer Engagement
- Cloud and Data Center
- Cost Models and Total Cost of Ownership
- Enterprise Trusted Advisor
- IT Innovation, Transformation, and Enterprise Technology
- Mobile and Network Services
- Security, Risk Management, and Compliance Research Initiatives
- Unified Communications and Collaboration
YES! Typically, when we think of enterprise mobility, it’s a very different beast. The majority of announcements in the greater collective of the mobile world are aimed at the consumer side.
Email, the scourge of today’s workforce that keeps millions upon millions from actually getting anything done seems to exist as a necessary evil in the corporate collaboration environment.
The User Experience: Keep the Magic In Mind
One of my favorite quotes at the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston was from Art King, the global infrastructure manager at Nike (the footwear and equipment company) who was talking about how IT teams need to step up when it comes to creating collaborative, social, and mobile applications.
The goal, Art said, was to create a “magical user experience”.
I really love that. Because all too often, IT takes a build-it-and-they-will- come approach: So long as the application is functional, users will use it. No need to pay attention to frills like color and design.
Guess what? That’s no longer true (if indeed it ever was). Unless an application is compelling, easy to use, and yes, magical, users are going to go somewhere else. They’ll find a workaround—often an off-the-shelf consumer technology that’s got great look-and-feel but isn’t up to snuff when it comes to corporate security or data management. (My favorite example: the law firm whose employees started storing all the client case files in Google Docs because the corporate collaboration system was so clunky. Eek!)
And Art wasn’t the only one. Nearly everyone I spoke with complained about the same problem: Enterprise collaborative, social, or mobile apps that simply weren’t easy or fun to use.
The root cause? Lack of proper usability testing. This came up over and over, from almost everyone. Enterprises aren’t conducting usability testing, even if they’ve invested millions in their collaboration efforts.
Yet usability testing has fallen out of favor in the past few years.
I’m not sure why, so I asked someone who should know: Adam Hulnick, a professional usability tester. “There’s a sense from senior managers that usability testing should no longer be necessary. They pay top-dollar for designers already-- shouldn’t those designers be able to just create usable interfaces?” says Hulnick.
I also think there’s a bigger problem: IT departments don’t consider “magical user experience” a design goal. But it should be—because the competition is consumer products that are.
Have comments? Interested in discussing this project further? Join the Nemertes Usability discussion group on LinkedIn. We look forward to hearing from you!