Poll Results: Users Want Speed over Social Features

by on 01/27/11 at 10:55 am

A while back, we hosted a survey to see which consumer web user interface (UI) theme they would like to see incorporated into business applications. We received 148 responses before we closed the poll. Here’s the breakdown of the results.
Poll Results: Users Want Speed over Social Features

Respondents were most keen on eliminating the number of screens they must navigate to meet their goals. Understandably, users don’t like waiting around for page refreshes. We have to agree on this point; waiting for your page to load is so 1999. Of course, technologies like AJAX and lightboxes go a long way toward delivering on this need.

Respondents also signaled that business applications should have stronger search capabilities.
The Google Instant Search feature we suggested came in second place. This suggests that some users prefer text searches to navigation. Ideally, an application should offer intuitive navigation and free text search.

Supporting the old adage that less is more, respondents were keen on the idea of more white space in their web applications. Keep it simple! Easier said than done, we know from experience. However, based on the UI’s were seeing on modern SaaS apps, we think the industry got the message and we’ll be seeing far simpler UI’s with plenty of white space.

Surprisingly, the social media functions we suggested did not rank as well. Although Facebook and Twitter are wildly popular with consumers, respondents didn’t seem too concerned with incorporating these UI paradigms into their business apps. We suspect this will change over time.

Our poll has closed but we would still like to hear your ideas for improving the user interface of business applications. Feel free to drop us a line in the comments section below.

Poll Results: Users Want Speed over Social Features Poll Results: Users Want Speed over Social Features

Derek Singleton is an ERP market analyst for Software Advice, a free online resource that presents reviews and comparisons of manufacturing software. For any questions related to this article, feel free to contact derek@softwareadvice.com.

4 Responses to “Poll Results: Users Want Speed over Social Features”

  1. Matt

    Jan 27th, 2011

    That chart is fairly difficult to read, especially considering this is a UX oriented site. :)

  2. Jacob

    Jan 27th, 2011

    Some questions:

    1. How and why did you arrive at these UI themes? Are they chosen arbitrarily or is there some methodology behind the selection?

    2. Why would a business application, which focuses on solving specific goals, benefit from UI themes that also focus on solving specific goals? Shouldn’t the tools be chosen for the job, rather than including them because they’re the latest trend? Unless the goals of the two elements are in sync, what is the reason for wanting a certain UI theme?

    3. What is the takeaway here? How can we use this data in an actionable way? What did we really learn? That speed is important?

  3. Erinah

    Feb 3rd, 2011

    Hm… Sorting the feature list and/or the slices of the pie would have made the chart a bit easier to comprehend.

  4. Richard

    Feb 16th, 2011

    Interesting that the results of a study on user experience is delivered in such an incomprehensible format. Sorting the legend and pie slices would have been the logical choice here.

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