Remember when bringing home a new gadget meant sitting down and reading the instructions first? If you don’t then you were born UX. A.D. that is to say after User Experience (UX) came to dominate commercial technology. Today’s technology is increasingly mobile, UX-centric and focused on intuitive use. And these trends in commercial technology are having knock-on effects on the expectations of users in the research and development (R&D) informatics space: Today’s R&D software user expects simplicity, while still being able to manage complex processes and scenarios.
The functionality arms race
Back in the 1990s and 2000s, the prime drivers of R&D software developers were adding and improving on features and functions. As R&D processes became ever more complex and software providers raced to match functionality, usability and aesthetics suffered.
Today’s R&D is even more challenging, as collaborative and service-oriented ways of working and externalization have become increasingly common.
The intuitive, UX-oriented nature of modern commercial technology now means that R&D software users have an expectation of simplicity and ease of use even when using complex, specialized R&D software.
And it turns out that putting UX considerations front and center when implementing R&D software doesn’t just make for happy users – the wider business benefits are also substantial. UX-oriented software can act as an enabler for effective and efficient R&D, without compromising on functionality.
By identifying and adopting software that lives up to UX best practice, organizations can cut costs of ownership through lower maintenance and training expenses, reduce roll-out overheads and boost user uptake. UX-friendly software also facilitates collaboration with external partners by making shared systems user friendly with minimal, or even no, training.
If you’d like to hear more about how UX can support efficiency and efficacy in R&D, why not check out IDBS’ webinar “Putting User Experience at the Heart of R&D‘ hosted by Paul Denny-Gouldson and Scott Weiss.