The smartphone explosion of the past decade has pushed user experience (UX) in software design to the forefront of the public’s mind. Whether or not they have heard or know about UX, all technology users are being exposed to good and bad user experiences every day. And the fact that the most valuable company in the world as of today, Apple, uses design to differentiate their products has influenced other businesses to value design in their own offerings. Users are also leading this charge with the trends of bring your own device (BYOD) and the consumerization of enterprise software.
What is User Experience (UX)?
There are many different definitions of user experience, but Wikipedia defines it as “a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system and service”. A user’s experience is influenced by how useful, easy to use, and delightful their interactions are with the product, system or service.
In traditional electronic document and records management systems (EDRMS), end users would take on the role of ‘records managers’ by tagging content with metadata and filing these records into the pre-determined locations of their system. For users to perform their role, they would need to not only interact with the system used to create their content (e.g. Microsoft Word), but also their records management system which would have a totally different user interface and way of operation.
All these interactions form part of a user’s ’emotions and attitudes’ towards their records management system. Unfortunately, a recent user experience report researching EDRMS usage across various Australian government agencies concluded that the overall user experience of their EDRMS was negative.
The Organizational Impact of the Records Management User Experience
In the above report, the EDRMS’ poor usability was a key contributing factor to the negative overall user experience. Systems that are not intuitive, required manual effort and have tasks spread across separate systems do not work for users. This complexity may have resulted in the mismanagement of government information which would increase the risk and cost for the government agency. Also, users avoided using these non-mandatory systems as they had access to shared and local drives which were much easier to use and manage.
So not only do EDRMS with poor user experiences cause user frustration and increase organizational risk, they may not even get used at all as users find workarounds to manage their content.
How RecordPoint Makes the Records Management User Experience Unobtrusive
User experience designers typically focus on making their software’s user interface more useful and easy to use, but a great user experience can be totally invisible to the user by not imposing a new way of doing things. As the best designs get out of the user’s way.
At RecordPoint, records are managed in-place so end users do not need to change how they work or take any extra manual steps to have their records managed correctly. This enables organizations to meet their information governance and compliance objectives without forcing end users to become records managers. To learn more about how RecordPoint can streamline the records management experience for your users, please get in touch with one of our team members.
 “The User Experience of Managing Records” research report prepared by ThinkPlace for the Australian Government Department of Finance (2016).