In today’s tech-filled world, usability is key. We start our day with a smartphone in our hand, we work on a computer all day, and even cars, trains, streetlights, and bank tellers are machines to interact with on our way home. If the user experence wasn't a top priority, we’d all be very frustrated navigating this landscape every day.
As technology advances, the definition of usability is also advancing. It’s no longer good enough for something to just be simple to use. We want our technology to do more for us. In fact, we’re demanding that it do more for us. And the more complex a service is, by definition, the more complex the interface must become. Fortunately we humans are also advancing our technical skills, but the balance must be considered at all times.
Steve Jobs famously once said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” It's true. Simple and good-looking are important, but simplicity alone does not mean a product will fulfill your needs, or the needs of your employees who are expecting a consumer-like experience from their business technology.
When you are considering a travel expense management software purchase to help your team do anything from marketing to expense processing, we know usability is a top concern as you need your employees to adopt and enjoy the tech that will help them accomplish their goals.
However, simple design alone can be deceiving and sometimes gets in the way of choosing a product that truly meets your needs. We recommend you use the following checklist to ensure you get what you need from the product you are purchasing:
- Utility: Does the product deliver what you need to meet your goals? This is a simple "yes" or "no."
- Scalability/Adaptability: If you are planning to grow, will this product deliver what you need a two or more years from now? There is nothing worse than putting a product and process in place only to outgrow it in just a few months.
- Mobility: The cousin of scalability, mobility will be a key part of your growth as a company into the future. If your product or vendor isn’t helping you modernize for today’s mobile workforce, you’ll need to replace it in the near future.
- Usability: You need your employees to be able to use the product with minimum frustration to ensure compliance. Depending on the complexity of the product, some training might be required, but processes should be easy to navigate post-training.
- Visibility: You need complete visibility into spend data in order to proactively manage budgets, as well as reduce the chance of surprises and unaccounted for costs.
Some products woo with simple interfaces that on the surface seem like a slam dunk for usability and happy employees, but when you try to do more complex processes or demand more from them, they are not equipped to deliver.
If you’re currently making do with manual, paper-based processes, you’re already feeling the extreme pain of poor usability! And any sort of upgrade to automation can seem like a huge leap forward. Just keep this checklist in hand as you’re navigating your options to ensure you make a great decision for your company.
Download the whitepaper to learn how the right travel expense management software can substantially improve the user expernence and add business value for your organization.