In the latest issue of CRM magazine, a former colleague of mine, Marshall Lager, wrote a compelling piece on the all-around importance that user interfaces play within the CRM industry. The article highlights current trends and software developments influencing UIs.
All in all, the article is a great callout to an old-school issue that, despite years of trial and error, still remains one of the top three issues decisively shaping the industry, both in terms of vendors and CRM initiatives. The importance of UIs can not be understated. It was in large part due to bulky UIs from the 1st generation of CRM suites developed in the 1990s that lead to the industry receiving the proverbial egg-to-the-face and poor reputation at the turn of the century.
Fortunately vendors have learned their lesson, which has resulted in a renewed focus on simple and suppler UIs, and the development of what I like to call the 2nd generation of interfaces. With CRM systems (like just about every other business application), it doesn’t matter what you can do with it, it’s only as good as what you’ll do to it. Apple has long understood this – they distill the essence of each application to its simplest level so it’s useful in real-world situations. This means an elegant interface with nothing extra to get in the way.
When it comes to business end-users, it’s no different. People like things that are simple and just plain work they way you’d expect them to. And that’s exactly the philosophy we’ve taken here at Sugar.