3 ways to improve the usability of your OnBase system

The User Experience team gets great opportunities to see a wide range of costumer solutions through our research. New systems and established systems, with anything from a couple to a couple hundred users. And virtually every time we wrap up an observation we get a question from the administrator.

“So, how can I make the system work better for my users?”

We know administrators are busy and swamped with work and improvements, so we’re constantly looking to distill quick wins for these admins to get the best bang for their proverbial buck. That usually means breaking the work into uncomplicated chunks that are easy to prioritize. While the details vary from customer to customer, we’ve come to realize our answers always follow a pretty simple pattern: review, simplify, and upgrade. These three steps not only help make the system better for users, but also make it easy to find time for small usability changes with big benefits.


The first step to any improvement is to review where you’re at currently. Take stock of the various parts of your system, from document types to WorkView classes, and everything in between. Did your organization or solution recently go through a big change? Often, as people change roles or your organization grows, shrinks, or rearranges, people end up with access to systems and information they used to need, but don’t anymore.

Review that users still have access to everything they need, and nothing that they don’t. The most common areas of bloat are document types, note types, and workflow actions. Cleaning up the user rights will go a long way to cleaning up the end user interface. Then make sure to fight this bloat by constantly reviewing whether you truly need to create new document types, keywords, or note types for new features, or if you can reuse existing ones instead.

While you review your system and the changes that have happened to it recently, it’s also a great time to review your business process around how you update and grow your solution. The most successful customers we’ve seen keep users engaged with strong visions and growth plans for their solutions, with a process in place to help keep their solution in lockstep with the organizational needs.

To craft your long-term vision, consider using My OnBase Planner to keep track of your organization’s roadmap.


Once you’ve reviewed your solution and cleaned up any stray user rights, you can go a step further by configuring ways for your users to navigate to their content more easily. Eighty percent of observed usability problems are due to poor navigation, so focusing your efforts here will go a long way.

For instance, if your users are always searching the same document types or using the same basic searches over and over, consider configuring Custom Queries and pushing them out to your users. This gives them a simplified, intuitive search interface for completing the majority of their work.

Another way to simplify your user’s navigation experience in Unity Client is to use Personal Pages to create a custom start screen. This feature has come a long way since it first came out, and users can now have shortcuts to create forms, run WorkView filters, view Workflow queues, and access Custom Queries. And starting in version 15, it’s possible for administrators to create tile groups and layouts to push down to their users for quick and easy access.

When end users can easily find what they are looking for, they are more efficient at completing tasks.


We add new features, configuration options, and customizations every year. That’s in addition to the hundreds of security updates and bug fixes. But in order to get any of them, you have to upgrade. Many of the customers we visit are one or two versions behind, and they can easily fix many of the issues they encounter with a feature from a newer version.

As upgrades become available, make sure to read up on the features, configurations, and enhancements they include and weigh that against your solution vision and organizational needs. If you want to review what version your organization is on and see what new features are available in the latest version of our software, visit My OnBase on Community.

Don’t wait too long though. Waiting more than two versions can make it difficult to take full advantage of the newest features as you work through all the updates and new capabilities. If you are unsure of what it takes to upgrade, consider reviewing the OnBase Upgrades Group or take an eLearning course with OnBase Training.

Prioritize the usability of OnBase at the top of your list. Then take the time to regularly review that your solution is matching your organizational needs, configure simpler paths for your users to reach their data, and make sure to stay up to date with the latest and greatest.

Doing so not only optimizes your solution, it improves your processes and makes it easier for your users to find the information they need, when they need it.

Marc Majers is a senior user experience designer on the User Experience team (UX) for Hyland. The UX team acts as an advocate for end users within the software creation process and every point along the customer journey. The group conducts usability testing in the field, remotely and in Hyland’s usability lab to gather information and analyze user experience trends. The team then applies that research toward creating intuitive user interface designs and future product enhancements focused on user goals. Michael Ullinger started at Hyland in 2011 as a development intern, working on integrations and prototypes, but found a passion in making software and experiences better through design. He joined Hyland full time on the UX team as a Usability and UI Specialist, where he’s been able to work on general and specific applications for mobile, web, and desktop. He currently works on exploring innovative and new interaction technologies and engaging marketing in creating usable software with personality.
Marc Majers and Michael Ullinger
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Marc Majers and Michael Ullinger

Marc Majers is a senior user experience designer on the User Experience team (UX) for Hyland. The UX team acts as an advocate for end users within the software creation... read more about: Marc Majers and Michael Ullinger