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Software Usability: Change Management, Common Sense, Company's Leadership

By Harold Hambrose  |  Posted 2008-10-30 Print this article Print

Whether you’re purchasing new software, developing an in-house system or assessing the application tools you already have, be sure to ask these questions.

Do I need budget for change management when I roll out this system? Change management efforts remind me of those airline safety instructions “in the seat pocket in front of you.” If you need them, beware! Did Apple prepare consumers for the release of the iPod and iPhone? Did anyone attend a training class before using a mobile phone? No, because the quality, value and usability of these products were evident to their intended audiences. Shouldn’t this hold true for the software tools we give our employees?

Does this application make sense to you? Can you look at a software system and really get it—not the sales pitch, but the screens themselves, the behaviors of the system, and the way information is presented and sequenced?

Will this tool be a positive reflection of the company’s leadership, or will it look like a misguided attempt to innovate by deploying yet another “solution”? When unusable support systems are deployed, that can compromise employee faith in the leaders who chose those systems. Give your workers tools that make them successful and inspire confidence in the company’s leaders.

Harold Hambrose is founder and CEO of Electronic Ink, a Philadelphia-based design consultancy that helps clients develop and deliver useful and usable business systems.

Harold Hambrose is founder and CEO of Electronic Ink.
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