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Enterprise software: meet the new usability standards or get out!

Today, we can search through the entirety of human knowledge in less than one second, but can you search the entirety of the knowledge your company has created? A recent McKinsey report showed that knowledge workers spend an average of 20% of their time every week searching for and retrieving information — that’s an entire day a week. So much of the software innovation has been confined to our personal lives. Consumers have organically adopted apps that are simple, elegant, and effortless. However, the tools we use at work most often neglect the needs of the end users. When I hear great software minds like Jason Fried argue to stay out of the dirty “enterprise software” it frustrates me. His argument is as follows: when selling software you have to make the money happy and the people happy. In small businesses they’re the same person. In the enterprise market they are often different people in different departments in different buildings who sit at different lunch tables. That’s why he argues to focus on the small businesses and avoid the enterprise. I understand why he says it, but instead of abandoning the enterprise software users I want to do something about it. At bluecrux (the company behind Binocs) we have several lifetimes of combined experience in the trenches and have worked with the people using enterprise software on a daily basis. We heard the users complain about the poor usability, saw their anxiety and frustration and are convinced it should be different. We started from the strategic business requirements related to resource planning, but we have built Binocs solely focused on the users. We are honing, refining, and improving Binocs every day. Based on user feedback (and I quote: “super easy”, “fun to use”), we’re starting to achieve this goal. We could have built the same Binocs functionality in less than half the time if we had followed usability standards of old school enterprise software. But we know the investment in the users will pay off in the long run. Of course, enterprise software has an other degree of complexity compared to the day-to-day apps we use at home, but consider my plea as a call to action for the big software vendors to start meeting the new usability standards. If you want to see how Binocs focuses on the user, I’ll be happy to show you around.