#IBMInterconnect Use a Better UI and See How You Feel

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In my career I have often come up against sales problems. As an engineer, these problems can be frustrating, especially when you know that what you made is better than what is out there. One of our newer developers asked me about how I handle these situations and this story came to mind:

We all have that one friend.  You know the one – they have a car that is, to be blunt, junk.  And it’s not a cool, hipster, “I want to be sure you understand I don’t care about your opinion” car.  It is simply a piece of junk.  Unreliable and prone to breaking down at the worst times.  But this person has never owned any other type of car.  Their entire car experience is that cars are not something to be enjoyed, but merely endured because you have to have them in order to function.  They won’t believe you when you try to tell them that if they bought something made in this century, with modern approaches like fuel injection, or a working radio, they will find that driving can actually be a fun thing.

 In this person’s experience, all cars are a misery, so there is no reason to try and use a different one.  They will just be changing problems.  And heck, they are already familiar with all the problems in their current car, so just staying there is easy.

Likewise, people who have worked with enterprise software are largely used to big vendor offerings that exist simply because we can no longer force users into a green screen interface.  The default experience is one of compromise, not elegance.  And the people who work with these systems are so used to this being normal that they cannot imagine that there might be another option, a different experience.  So when you offer them something else, they have no interest.

ootb_portal

Take the IBM BPM Process Portal as an example. The Process Portal is functional; it allows the end user to execute tasks in a given order. It works.  You can, given the right tools, customize it for your company.  But the experience is one of compromise.  In attempting to meet everyone’s needs, the Process Portal became the Muzak of user experience.

Now, go test drive the Brazos Portal. Each user can customize their view, have instances from multiple process centers, search all of their instances, drill down, drill up, pop a wheelie in the parking lot.  And if you want customization, specialists can change it to fit your company and your culture.

brazos_example

Enterprise software user experience doesn’t have to be one of compromise and pain.  We aren’t going to promise that this will make your job more fun, but commuting to work in a modern luxury car is a much more pleasant than the same commute in a junker with no A/C.  Upgrade your commute.

 

See Andrew speak about building a better and mobile UI at IBM Interconnect Wednesday at 3:30PM in Jasmine Ballroom B. Visit BP3 at the Expo Center in Booth 307.