At Skuid, we’re passionate about human-centered design. In fact, we believe it should drive every app, system, or product you create.
Here’s why: for a business to run effectively and continually generate revenue, its people need tools that work the way they do. Though that sounds basic, delivering user-centric, intuitive apps isn’t easy. But, failure to do so will cost you.
According to Gartner, “Every year, poor data quality costs organizations an average $12.9 million.
Human-centered design is key to solving this problem. It’s a mindset and process that places the customer at the center of every process. It seeks to understand what the user wants and needs to do their best work. This design approach revolves around four pillars.
- Utility: can the user accomplish tasks with the app to reach their goals?
- Efficiency: can the user perform work faster than with the available alternative solutions?
- Clarity: can the user quickly see how the app works and use it without training or consulting a manual?
- Delight: does the visual appeal of the app inspire confidence in both the tool and the people who crafted it?
Here’s a real-world example. Skuid customer T-Mobile employed human-centered design to improve its sales ops experience. Embracing these principles, the company created Strategy Builder—a hub that retrieves customer data from separate systems and organizes it for the sales team, helping reps meet quota.
With companies like T-Mobile raising the bar on sales ops and employee experience, good design is no longer optional.
Over the years, we’ve helped many customers overcome app-design challenges, particularly when it comes to working in Salesforce. Here are three things we’ve learned about how to design and deliver apps that users love.
1. Ask the right questions
All successful projects start by establishing a pipeline for user feedback. Asking the right questions will help you build tools people actually want to use and ones that increase productivity. Here’s a good place to start:
- What will people ultimately be using this tool for?
- Are my layouts and components consistent across apps?
- What data am I showing the user, and do they really need it?
- How many clicks does it take to perform one function?
- Does my user need this feature or component? Could less be more?
- What do my users want versus what do my users need?
- What isn’t being said? Is there something hidden between the lines?
The last question is critical. Constructive feedback can be intimidating for users to offer, especially if user experience (UX) isn’t a major priority for the organization. People might feel expected to get the job done, no matter how fantastic (or not) their tools are.
So, as you spend time learning your user’s needs, pay attention to what they’re not saying. Asking about those things will encourage them to speak up (and help you build the right solution). Pair that information with your own analysis, then make improvements that get everyone excited.
For more tips like these, read 10 UX and UI best practices to build better business apps.
2. Make the UX easy
We’ve all been there: stumbling through an app that wasn’t designed with us in mind. Drilling down too many levels just to find what we need. Entering paragraphs of data, only to have the page time out and lose our information. Receiving opaque error messages while trying to complete required fields on a form.
When apps function this way, they not only discourage people from using them, they guarantee companies won’t get the data they need to make the right business decisions (Remember that Gartner stat?).
Solving that problem starts here: make it as easy as possible for users to enter data in your apps and systems. For advice (and examples) on how to do just that in Salesforce, learn about three best practices to make multi-part forms easy.
3. Deliver apps that match your brand
Salesforce Experience Cloud aims to help brands “build websites, portals, mobile apps, and many other digital touchpoints to engage with customers — and digitize business processes to move faster in our online-first world.”
As the post-pandemic economy evolves, customers need continued agility to react to market conditions. While Experience Cloud aims to solve these challenges, if you want to customize beyond the provided templates, you'll need to start writing code.
With Skuid, you can quickly style stunning apps to match your brand, no code required. Our Design System Studio is a visual, declarative tool for designing and configuring styles in Skuid apps.
Basically, it's declarative CSS. So, you don’t need any HTML or CSS to make colors, fonts, interaction states, button styles, and other visual elements of your app match company style guides, design systems, or branding specs.
Choose your own adventure
By using human-centered design to drive app development, you’ll deliver apps that users love and improve your organization’s data quality. There’s so much more we could say about this topic, and if you want more than the tips we’ve shared here, it’s time to choose your own adventure.
If you’re a Rev Ops leader focused on improving sales processes, learn how to deliver impactful sales apps fast or how one Skuid customer is building custom sales ops apps that increase sales rep productivity.
If you’re an HR professional wanting to boost employee experience, learn how Skuid can help you seamlessly integrate PeopleSoft into Salesforce.
If you’re an IT leader intent on streamlining Salesforce development and delivery practices, learn how Skuid supports Salesforce development processes for organizations large and small.
Or if you’re an admin working to optimize your Salesforce instance, learn some time-saving shortcuts for Salesforce admins.