Enterprise Software Still Suffers From Basic Usability Problems

It's something of a cliché to criticize the usability of enterprise software. Big, complex software is always going to have some idiosyncracies and usability issues here and there.

However, when it takes me 16 steps to submit my time card each week, I'm beginning to wonder if those ERP vendors couldn't learn a thing or two about user-centered design.

Here's the process I have to follow to submit my time:

  1. Open IE (of course, you can't use another browser)
  2. Login to our extranet
  3. Click on the time reporting login link
  4. Login to PeopleSoft
  5. Click on the "Time report" link
  6. Click on the "Create/update" link
  7. Click on the "Add a new value" link
  8. Click on the "Add" button
  9. Choose "Copy from previous time report" radio button and click on the "Continue" button
  10. Click the "Select" button next to my most recently submitted time report
  11. Complete the fields in my time report
  12. Click on the "Update totals" button (optional) to see the total hours worked
  13. Click the "Submit for approval" button
  14. Click "Ok"
  15. Click "Ok"
  16. Click the "Sign out" link

I can only imagine the opportunities for error or to learn bad practices when it takes this many steps to do something as simple as submit a time card. Hint: ever heard of shortcuts?

Posted on: December 16, 2007 | No comments

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