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What Makes an Outstanding UX

Defining a Good User Experience

When you think of programs or apps that you use on a daily basis, which are the ones that you truly enjoy? Let’s be honest, we all have to use various programs for work or to just “get things done,” but we don’t always enjoy them. What makes the ones with a quality user experience stand out is that they get the job done, make it easy for you, and also create an enjoyable experience. This is what we had in mind when tackling our Cloud ERP UX initiative, Channel Islands. We looked at the various programs, apps, and devices out there to find the key aspects of what makes an outstanding user experience (UX).

UX and the Effective User

When designing the infrastructure for the next generation user experience of QAD Cloud ERP, there were so many factors to take into consideration. One of the top strategies on our list was to enable what we call, “the effective user.” We set out to create a UX that was not only beautiful to look at, but also made life easier and more efficient for the user. We all want to be effective in our jobs, right? Those of us immersed in the world of manufacturing ERP are no different.

As we brainstormed about executing our “effective user” strategy, we put ourselves in the shoes of our end-users. What would make life easier for them? How and when do they work? What happens when you leave the four walls of your company?

Our work lives have changed in recent years. There was a time when we got to work and accessed an application from a single PC, now we carry our applications with us, in our pockets or on our wrists! The plethora of devices like phones, tablets, and watches have changed the way we work and play. We expect to have instant access anywhere at any time on the most convenient device. The moment a thought or task comes to mind we want to take action on it.

But what does this mean to you? We found through research and working with our customers, that we could achieve a new level of effectiveness by the following:

  • Rich visualizations – This is where the beauty meets the brains in the UX. Here we provide both, for example, users are able to drill into an on time delivery rate and determine why it may have fallen based on actual orders and delivery data.
  • Actionable information at your fingertips – We all love dashboards of data, but what is the use of looking at it if it’s not actionable?
  • Context aware – Here we have a UX that gets to know you. As you use it, it learns what is important to you and provides it directly to you.

We are excited to work with our early adopters of the Channel Islands initiative and see our “effective users” in action, learn from them, and continue to address their needs. The “effective user” was one of the main aspects of making an outstanding UX, but not the only one by any means. I look forward to sharing more of the methods and thoughts behind our new user experience development for QAD Cloud ERP.

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More Stories By Tony Winter

With over 20 years in the ERP industry, Tony Winter is responsible for driving QAD’s long-term technology, architecture and product release strategies. He oversees a global research and development team, manages all technical relationships with QAD global partners, and innovates on QAD’s key technology initiatives, including its user interfaces, foundation services, application lifecycle management, analytics, integration and quality.

Tony loves to spend time with his wife and four children, learning new things together through homeschooling, like trying to play instruments and traveling to experience different cultures and cuisines firsthand. He had a unique education in his home country of Wales with the first 18 years of his life being taught entirely in Welsh. He also builds software-controlled devices and has a large collection of metal cast puzzles.