The OnBase 12 User Experience: This Time, It’s Personal

We all use software every single day – to find answers, pay the bills, play games, find directions, work, communicate – the list goes on and on. 

Think about the software you use every day in your personal life.  Of all the options, why do you use the Internet browser that you do?  What makes a certain search engine preferable to another?  What is it that distinguishes different photo editing tools? Why did you invest in that iPhone or Android device?

The simple answer is that you like to use it. It’s intuitive and familiar. Not to mention that it’s effective and there is only a mild learning curve, if any at all.

Now, think about the software you use in the office and ask yourself the same question: why do I use it?  The answer has traditionally been that you don’t really have a choice.  For most of us, we don’t have the luxury to choose which software package or version is best for our style of work.  So it’s common to see people struggling to grasp a complex product or wasting time clicking through an unfamiliar interface. And though these clunky systems might be incredibly effective in theory, it is a stretch to say that we always enjoy the experience. It’s impersonal.

However, with the consumer market now driving the development and use of new technologies behind the firewall, this is putting increasing pressures on vendors to create and promote intuitive and familiar methods for enjoying instant access to business-critical information. This trend of “consumerization of IT” represents a trend among office workers who now expect a personal experience with their at-work technology.

Software vendors should respond to this by evolving their products.  Industry-leading software must have two characteristics:  Be powerful and effective and easy to use. 

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend Gartner’s Portal, Content and Collaboration Summit (PCC) which covered a number of topics on the forefront of the minds of IT professionals. One particular session addressed this very concept.

First, for software to be useful, it has to be really good at what it does. Google, well-lauded for the simplicity of its interface, would not nearly be as valuable if it did not have such power beneath the hood and could not deliver the results that it does. Same goes for tools like the iOS 4s vocal interface, Siri. Sure, it’s cool and new, and that helps with initial traction, but would it be as valuable if it did not have the iPhone’s robust functionality at its disposal?

In that sense, the context is critical to user experience, because no matter how seamless the interface, if it is incapable of delivering what you need, then it makes no difference how simple, slick or swift it is.

Conversely, an extremely powerful tool is not as effective if its primary users opt not to use it. Usage is how technology gains traction – it drives innovation, and it is a key metric for its value. It’s like the product’s oxygen; it can’t survive without it. So the user interface is just as important as what’s beneath the hood. It must be relevant and intuitive. It has to be personal.

So while we can talk all day about how enterprise content management (ECM) can protect your business, increase your cash flow, and cut costs, all while simultaneously saving the world, it won’t make a bit of difference if it doesn’t facilitate the way your users work. And that has been a constant struggle for ECM solutions in years past. How can a vendor bridge the gap between the powerful capabilities of a product that has been developed behind a firewall for decades, with the emerging uproar for a more seamless and intuitive user experience?

Since we live in an age where the user is driving a change in the IT market, why not let them drive their own experience. With OnBase 12, Hyland is making ECM personal by allowing each individual to alter and tailor their own interface. No one person in your organization knows how every employee works best – it’s something that we all understand about ourselves.

That’s why it’s wise to invest in a vendor that not only gives your users a number of diverse access points, but the ability to personalize those interfaces as well. Coupled with all the proven power that has been natively developed as part of OnBase for the last 20 years, OnBase 12 will provide an personal user experience for your employees.

Kevin Flanagan

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