One of the biggest challenges faced by software development teams today is developing user friendly software . When developing a software product, the first question thing that the developer thinks about is what qualities the software should have. While the technical characteristics of software can vary, an obvious expectation from any software is that it should be user-friendly. When developing a software product, a developer should always keep the end-user in mind. By ensuring this, a developer will be able to create software that delights end-users.
To ensure that a new software is successful, the area that developers need to focus on most is user experience. The software is bound to fail if users find it unimpressive and difficult to navigate. Whether they’re individuals or businesses, consumers usually search for a product that meets all their needs when looking for a software solution. An application may look perfect on paper, but once you install it and it is used in a real world environment, consumers may not find it as the ‘ideal’ solution. It could be frustrating, complicated or filled with bugs.
The first quality of use friendly software is that it isn’t too complicated. To create user friendly software , developers should look to create software that can be learned in less than half an hour. Customers are likely to use a software and recommend it to others if it has been developed with the intention of creating a positive user experience. Remember, creating a positive user experience is the key to developing user friendly software.
Now, you may be wondering how you can create a positive user experience. To create a positive user experience, the first thing that you need to ensure is that the software is easy to navigate. A key component of the software , the navigation of the software is what stands between the user and his/her goal. As a developer, your job is to make this distance as short as possible. For this reason, you need to think things from a usability perspective. If your users need to do a lot of work to reach their goal, then it wouldn’t be long before they stop using your software and recommend others to do the same as well. So, how can you create software that users find desirable and easy to use? To make things easy for you, following are the 6 key features of user- friendly software.
Simple to Install
The first feature of user friendly software is that it’s easy to install. This is applicable to everything from browser plug-ins and operating systems. As it is the first point of contact for users, the installation of the software should not be a difficult process. If that isn’t the case, then users will be taken aback by your software from the very first second. For this reason, the installation needs to be simple and well-documented whether the software is a single-client user application or an operating system. Users won’t waste a second to move onto a simpler alternative if they find your software too complicated.
Easy To Navigate
For users, the number of clicks a software requires is a big deal. Users are bound to get irritated if they have to click more than 4 or 5 times to perform some action. For this reason, it is important to develop software that can be navigated with two clicks or less. It is important for you to make the common actions in your software the most accessible. You can be a bit more lax with features that users don’t use often, but ensuring easy navigation to features/pages that users commonly access is critical.
Easy to Update
Just like the installation process, the process to update the software needs to be simple. Users are more than likely to skip the process if they find updates a bit complicated. This in turn will cause many memory leaks, update patch security holes, a trail of bad results, and a host of other problems. To ensure that users can continue to benefit from the software, updates need to be as simple as possible. The software will get exposed to issues if it isn’t updated. This in turn will make it less secure and reliable.
The look of the software is by no means its most important feature. Also, good looks cannot make up for a poorly designed software. But, if you ensure the aforementioned things then an aesthetically pleasing software design can enhance the user experience of the people using the software .
It wouldn’t be wrong to call the graphical user interface (GUI) as the most important feature of software. Users are bound to have issues with the software if its GUI isn’t well thought out and appropriately executed. On the other hand, a well-designed GUI can help the software to make up for poor coding or less than friendly underlying structure. But, don’t put all your eggs in the same basket—the software is still expected to work as advertised.
Easy to Uninstall
In addition to being easy to install, the software should be easy to uninstall. If the software isn’t easy to remove then it is likely to become a headache for the users. You may not want users to uninstall your software from their computers or smart phones but at times, users are running short of space on their phone/computer and need to temporarily uninstall software to create space. By making your software easy to install and uninstall, you’ll make it user-friendly and a user-friendly software is a desirable software!
There you have it—the 6 key features of user friendly software. If your software has the 6 features mentioned above, then you can rest assured that you software is user friendly.
by Bobby J Davidson
As the President of Percento Technologies, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the company.
The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a Business Technology | Anytime | Anywhere for organizations in need of Managed IT Services, Professional IT Consulting, and Infrastructure Projects. We have a fantastic suite of boutique-managed Cloud Servers to choose, along with Network Cabling and high end professional website services.
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