Last year, I worked on an in-house application replacing a 3rd party product our client picked. The 3rd party product had numerous problems such as reports that threw “SQL column not found” errors at end users and a clunky interface that required so many clicks to accomplish a single task. More importantly the vendor could not meet new hosting requirements demanded by new geographic legislation. We involved a User Experience designer very early on in the rebuild, focusing on who used the system and what they needed it to do.
In the end, we ended up with a very simple application. We did nothing special from a technical point of view but we fought hard to keep unnecessary features out until we validated how it would be used by end users. I’m glad we did it as well.
Our Product Owner took the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the original tool. This score is something that apparently Apple rely on heavily for user feedback. The 3rd party tool scored a disappointing -27%. Our Product Owner took the score again a couple of weeks after the release of the new tool. This new tool got an amazing +63% (a 90 point change!).
Our endeavour to keep the application as simple as possible paid off. Users had a much easier time accomplishing what they needed to do instead of clicking all over the place.