Systems and Software: Make Them Really Easy to Use

May 18, 2022

Isn’t software supposed to make work easier and more efficient? Even as reliance on technology in the workplace has increased, it appears to have become just the opposite. TechRadar Pro reports, “Software Frustration Is Costing Workers Millions of Hours Every Week.” Writer Will McCurdy cites a recent survey from Userlane, a company that makes and sells a digital adoption platform. He tells us:

“The company found a third – 35% – of UK employees waste at least one hour per week tackling software-related issues, while 61% spend at least 30 minutes per week on these challenges. The majority – 70% – of employers state that their overall use of technology at work has increased over the past two years according to Userlane’s data, as the demand for online collaboration in particular has skyrocketed with the move to hybrid working. What’s frustrating workers? The fact that software can be time-consuming to use was the most common complaint among those surveyed and was cited by 44% of the survey’s respondents. The IT department not responding to queries or issues quickly enough was another common complaint, cited by 39% of respondents. Software that involves too many complex processes was another common issue, cited by 23% of users. Userlane’s survey also suggests that software challenges are impacting how users approach their jobs.”

For example, nearly half the respondents have put off important tasks because of this frustration, almost 20% have dropped back to manual methods, and 8% have considered quitting over software woes. Apparently, the most common way for companies to battle complaints is to explain the technology’s benefits to workers—an approach we expect some may find patronizing. Other, perhaps wiser, methods include expanding IT support capacity and supplying workers with classroom and/or written training. Userlane also found nearly a third of companies are using a digital adoption platform, like the one it happens to sell. Whether such a guidance platform helps, though, will vary greatly by employee. It is, after all, another layer of software.

Cynthia Murrell, May 18, 2022

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