The usability big picture—a checklist to avoid software pitfalls

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 our cars, trains, streetlights and bank tellers are machines to interact with on our way home. If usability weren’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 to be simple to use. We want our technology to do more for us. In fact, we’re demanding 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.” And it’s true. Simple and good looking does not mean the product will fulfill your needs.


When you are considering a 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 can be deceiving and sometimes get 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:


  1. Utility – Does the product deliver what you need to meet your goals? This is a simple yes or no.
  2. Scalability – If you are planning to grow, will this product deliver what you need two years from now? There is nothing worse than putting a product and process in place only to outgrow it in just a few months.
  3. Usability – You need your employees to be able to use the product with minimum frustration to get your desired results. Depending on the complexity of the product, some training might be required, but post-training, processes should be easy to navigate.
  4. 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.


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.


At Concur we constantly keep both unmatched utility and sleek usability top of mind. Our customers consistently tell us we offer the best of both worlds. We’re committed to setting you free from manual processes and helping you modernize your spend management.  


Learn more about Concur Small and Medium Business Solutions. 

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