Rian van der Merwe

Rian van der Merwe

Why enterprise software sucks (and how to unsuck it)

Designing for the enterprise is really, really hard. The reason it’s hard is that in most cases the people who buy the software and the people who use the software are completely different, and therefore have completely different needs.

The people who buy enterprise software — IT managers, HR managers, etc. — care about things like configurability, control, more features than a competitor, and most of all: the ability to customize the thing just so, so that it fits in with whatever systems already exist. End users care about none of those things. They care about getting a job done as quickly and with as little pain as possible.

So how do you design in this kind of hostile environment? How do you provide a good end user experience while also catering to the needs of the business of selling to a different audience? That’s what this talk is about. You’ll learn:

  • How to balance the needs of different product audiences effectively.
  • How to bring user-centered design and Lean UX principles to the slow-moving machine that is the enterprise market.
  • How to turn a sales-driven organization into a product-driven organization (or at least how to co-exist peacefully)

Enterprise software has never been this fun.

About Rian

Rian is passionate about designing and building software that people love to use. After spending several years working in Silicon Valley and Cape Town, South Africa, he is now based in Portland, OR. He also blogs and tweets regularly about design, technology, and software development.