We asked expert users to give us their views on the topic of usability by asking them three questions:
What significance do you believe usability has when selecting data procurement systems, such as PIM solutions, to be deployed at your company?
Sebastian Jurth, Remmers GmbH, Löningen: “This is really important to us. In contrast to many other back-end systems, PIM is particularly relevant in many areas of the company. Only one content manager works on the website back-end, for example – and they are generally skilled on the topic, or training can be provided. But the following are all involved in PIM at our company: content managers, marketing managers, product security officers, technical secretariats, product managers, regulatory affairs officers and others beside. A lot of content is entered into the system directly by those responsible. Here, it is important that the system is simple to use and practical. Otherwise, the costs for training would be high in view of the large number of people. Furthermore, the systems are a fundamental component of digitalisation. However, if working with these is not fun, or worse, if it is frustrating, then we have a major problem. We have plenty of other obstacles and acceptance inhibitors within the context of digitalisation. So, the systems should be fun to work with.”
Markus Gaggl, Rubble Master HMH GmbH, Linz: “Today, usability is more than mere user-friendliness. It describes a holistic and exclusively customer-centric view and development of systems.”
Alexandra Wackernagel, Elektro-Material AG, Zurich: “In addition to overall functionality, usability is one of the most important factors when selecting systems. Our employees have varying digital skill levels and each of them has to be able to adequately operate our business-critical systems.”
In your experience, how has usability developed over the last three to five years? Do you believe this development is sufficient, among other things in comparison to the development of data distribution systems?
Sebastian Jurth, Remmers GmbH, Löningen: “Manufacturers will be unable to avoid investing more here. We have been spoiled in many other areas. So, we also want to be spoiled when using the systems in our everyday work. This is a major criterion when selecting solutions. Otherwise, I am looking at high training costs and longer induction periods. Furthermore, a system that is fun is also used more effectively, with employees not only maintaining data because they have to. Systems that are not absolutely vital in particular, such as CRM systems, are only fully integrated into everyday life and have their data maintained if they are fun to work with and the back-end is also correspondingly simple to use. I have meanwhile witnessed this development in many different areas. Even SAP is trying to catch up with regards to the back-end of ERP. And the SAP CRM system is also considerably more user-friendly in structure.”
Markus Gaggl, Rubble Master HMH GmbH, Linz: “The developments of the past few years have been very strongly driven by start-ups that virtually all exclusively offer SaaS solutions, and for this reason necessitate a major focus on the customer.”
Alexandra Wackernagel, Elektro-Material AG, Zurich: “In the area of enterprise, I am noticing a negative development that is affecting usability. The systems are becoming increasingly complex, are stuffed full of all sorts of features with somewhat contentious benefits and require correspondingly intensive training.”
What situations have you already witnessed where a lack of usability has hampered the acceptance of new data procurement systems?
Sebastian Jurth, Remmers GmbH, Löningen: “Vast experience. Introducing new systems generally always causes resistance. The fear is that there is even more work, something new to learn, this is all too complicated, I am being monitored, etc., etc., etc. Here, mistakes and poor usability are frequently the trigger for rejecting the system. However, if the system is well set up and works, we will be able to convince our colleagues and specialist departments sooner.”
Markus Gaggl, Rubble Master HMH GmbH, Linz: “Independent of the B2B and B2C industries, communication is always P2P (person-to-person). This means that usability experiences regarding technologies and systems for private use need to be converted into requirements for vocational use virtually 1:1. Usability is one of the biggest acceptance factors.”
Alexandra Wackernagel, Elektro-Material AG, Zurich: “I have seen an entire team being severely hampered in its work because the back-end system was virtually inoperable. Following repeated training sessions and detailed instruction that provided no relief, the only choice was to replace the system.”
Get the PDFs of the Whitepaper for free to receive more information on Usability 2.0.
For more information about Akeneo visit www.akeneo.com
Picture by Elliot Cooper on Unsplash