There’s a school of thought that believes employees enjoy mastering complex processes and convoluted interaction design. It’s like the digital equivalent of a hard day’s work chopping down trees or planting a field. The employee then collapses exhausted at the end of a long day feeling fulfilled at the effort they’ve put forth.

The explanation for the poor quality overall of user experience (UX) for employees is either this distorted “hard work is its own reward” ethos or that too few people have cared enough to save employees from the pain of badly designed digital tools. Either way, something needs to change.

There are signs it’s happening. As of last year, 50% of respondents to our survey of design teams said they worked on employee-facing tools. Companies like Salesforce have chief design officers. IBM has aimed its design methodologies at an array of employee software. And the idea that better UX disrupts categories has strong support. For example, Zoom’s usage has rocketed up during the pandemic due in part to ease of use.

At many companies, design is becoming more intentional, too. Rahul Vohra of Superhuman, a startup valued at $260M to “make email suck less” recently presented “Game Design for Business Software” at Pendo’s conference, laying out principles such as “follow the rules of focus” and “design for nuanced emotion.”

Forrester has been conducting our own research into the topic to provide a way to cut through the hype to what it takes to create real change. This week we released the report, “Design For Work: Boost Productivity And Satisfaction By Transforming Enterprise UX.” The report covers:

  • Why enterprise UX matters.
  • What’s going wrong.
  • The four initiatives that will help you make it better.

I hope you find it helpful. Got comments? Criticisms? Even praise? Get in touch with me here, or schedule time to discuss.