Custom Application User Engagement — Expectation vs. Reality

What do your end-users expect when they interact with your organization's application? How do you want them to react? We’ll examine the expectations and realities of custom application user engagement.

End-User Expectations

In this observation, you might encounter various behaviors — the nods of approval, the smiles and laughs, or (as is often the case) the looks of frustration and bewilderment upon the faces of less tech-savvy users. Getting involved, gathering information, and observing your end-user's interaction with your custom application is the key to arriving at effective and user-friendly solutions that simplify your business processes.

The Expectation

  • KitchIntel — A solution accelerator that brings modern intelligence and automation to back-of-house food service establishments. This completely custom application streamlines the cooking and prep process for quick-service restaurants (QSRs).
  • Purchase Order Approvals — This app presents managers with everything they need to approve purchase orders and requisitions right from the mobile device. Managers log in with Oracle JD Edwards credentials or fingerprint authentication and easily access all orders waiting for review.

When designing an application with respect to well-defined business requirements, business processes, use-cases, and mockups (and while keeping with agile delivery practices), the expectation is to construct a product that delivers end-users the means to seamlessly bridge and eliminate gaps and inefficiencies.

The Reality

Even features that have gone through several iterations of testing, feedback, and subsequent improvements almost immediately prove to be outright confusing, or even out of place for some of the users. Though your organization may have well-defined business processes which the application is configured to accept, observations will reveal there are everyday occasions in which even these well-defined rules don’t hold.

In the case of KitchIntel, what if the grill wasn’t quite up to the exact temperature? Or what if one grill operator took longer than another to place and remove items from the cooking surface? Further, how are we handling inconsistencies in weight and uniformity of certain pieces of food being placed on the cooking surface? Similarly, as we trekked up ladders into ceilings and AC ducts with our clients at a field services company (in developing our field service mobile application), we observed how impractical an app with such small print was in meeting the field worker’s needs.

The Impact

Clients often put us in contact with individuals in their organization who have a lot of business knowledge (like project managers, for example), but may not always have the same level of day-to-day operational experience as our intended end-users. Therefore, client site observations made at the “ops” level can provide a more holistic view of the business processes the application is aimed at improving.

In the case of the applications mentioned above, some of these observations didn’t necessitate any changes to the code. Rather, a normalization of business practices to ensure end-users are performing their day-to-day operations efficiently, and in accordance with the defined business processes. Thus, allowing the application to seamlessly eliminate inefficiencies as originally intended, all the while improving operations within your organization. After all, we want you to do well so we can do well, right?

Client site observations made at the “ops” level can provide a more holistic view of the business processes the application is aimed at improving.

The Importance of Getting Involved

Remember that even the best design solution is no good if the users fail to accept it. Keeping this in mind early will lead to a solution that will more closely satisfy the intended use-cases, and generally be accepted at all levels of your organization.

Looking for more on custom application development?

Explore more insights and expertise at smartbridge.com/development

Post Coming Soon: A Digital Toolbox for Everyone — Low Code vs. Custom Development

Originally published at https://smartbridge.com on May 1, 2020.

We’re geeks for the enterprise systems and tech that sustains and strengthens business. Simplifying business transformation. Smartbridge.com

We’re geeks for the enterprise systems and tech that sustains and strengthens business. Simplifying business transformation. Smartbridge.com