Why are intranet applications so difficult to use?November 28, 2008 at 3:34 pm | Posted in application, intranet, standards, Uncategorized, user testing | 31 Comments
Tags: applications, bt intranet, oracle, usability
Firstly let me make it clear I am referring only to intranet applications BT has bought from software vendors not any applications that BT has developed for our intranet.
When I use an application on the internet such as Google or Amazon to do something or even the BBC site for iPlayer it is always available, easy to use, no training needed, and it does what it claims to do. If it didn’t the sites wouldn’t exist.
However when I use an intranet application that BT has bought from software vendors, like Oracle, etc, they are not easy to use, need training to use and fall short of the claims they make on how usable they are.
I’m not sure if the software vendors carry out any or enough user testing. If they do, then maybe they are asking the wrong people. I wonder if it is technical advice they seek on their applications rather than the user experience? If not, well………………why not is the obvious question?
It can be very difficult to use intranet applications that have:
- misleading headings that take you to pages you didn’t expect to find
- functions placed in strange parts of the screen
- headings that have strange names (what does ‘per diem’ mean?)
I expect the same experience from an intranet application as I would from an internet application and not have to spend money customising it to meet the basic levels of usability I need to avoid huge (normally hidden sadly) productivity costs.
Am I in a minority of 1 or am I voicing what the silent majority of users think and suffer each day? Only you can decide!