I was prompted to write this post after a comment to my posting ‘why are intranet applications so difficult to use?‘ by Calluna55 which picked up that big software vendors must sooner or later start to improve the usability of their intranet applications.
Oracle are a successful, global, software vendor. BT uses their products like their ebusiness suite. However this product has a strange phrase ‘per diem’ for claiming expenses.
Now, I know this phrase is well known in the US but Oracle are a global company with many customers outside the US. Surely an option to simply change it to the equivalent phrase in another language exists?
NO! is the answer. To change a simple phrase ‘per diem’ to one that is more meaningful either means a very expensive and difficult re-coding of the heading by an Oracle code expert or changing every phrase to another language.
I’m sure for other countries like Germany, France, Japan, etc, that is the obvious option but many people either speak English as their first or second language. ‘Per diem’ is not easily understood.
It’s another example where software sold by vendors like Oracle could be more usable by enabling small changes to be made easier.
The more usable the software is, the cheaper it is to make changes, the easier it is to upgrade to new versions = more business for the software vendors.
With a global recession in 2009 isn’t this a simple thing software vendors could do to help themselves as well as us?