What does it mean user friendly? What are the characteristics that an user friendly sofware should have?
In general a software is user friendly when it has an interface that is easy to use. It is not difficult to understand for the end-user. Anyhow, “user friendly” can be a really subjective term and the expectations might be different. Here you have a list of some criterias of an user friendly software. For sure there can be many, if you have any suggestion please tell us!
Easy to install
It all starts from the moment you downscload the sofwate and want to istall it. This is the first contact point for the users, so if they don’t like it since the beginning, they might not use it again. The installation should be simple and easy.
Easy to update
In order to make the application run o long term, you need to constatly update it. Still, if the updates are complex, yuor users might want to skil the process. When users don’t update, they explore the software to different issues and make it less reliable and secure. Make sure that the updates are simple enough to attract the user.
A big part of the user-friendliness of a sofwtware comes from its GUI. Even though a software has problems of structure (or poor coding), if the GUI is well-designed, the user will not have problems in using the software. Still, there is needed a balance between the two.
The pieces of software need to work as expected, but they also have to be efficient. For an user a softwoare that is efficient is a software that does its job. Everything should work seamlessly with underlying structures and subsystems. An example of how you can make a software less efficient is one from Microsoft. Once they made a change in the Office interface, switching from the standard one to the Ribbon one. This caused a lot of problems to the users, just because users didn’t know where the features were located. So for them it was not efficient at all, making them loose precious work time.
Pleasant and easy to navingate GUI
It is important to that the design of the software creates a pleasent experience for the end user. You don’t need always to follow the trend, because at the end what matters is that the GUI will mae the experience of an user easier. The GUI is ireally important, but makes sure that the GUI is intuititive and efficient, in order to make the software user friendly.
Easy to remove
Yes, a software needs to be easy to install and update, but it should be also easy to remove. For sure you don’t want your users to remove your software, but this might be the last impression your software makes. It can be a positive or negative one.
Doesn’t need third-party software
It is much easier for an user when they have only ONE software will all the tools they need. The moment when an user needs to install third-party softwares to be able to use the main one, it creates complications and it might demotivate the user to even use the software at all.
Easy to troubleshoot
No software is perfect, and it’s okay! What is important is that when something goes wrong, the user can receive the support needed to solve the issue. If there is a bug that doesn’t get fixed, how will be the end user able to keep the software running?
Adheres to standards
Standards are created with a reason; to enable the software to interact with others. For example, if you decide to not follow the universal standards for your softaware it will cause problems in communicating with other software. The user will face an unfriendly experience in trying to make htier software communicate with others, that follow standards.
Effective error handling
Doesn’t it bother you when you use an application where a button doesn’t work and you don’t know why? Should you close and open the app again, reinstall it or what? It’s really important to make the error known. Also, it is not mandatory for the user to report the bugs they find, but it’s useful to give them this opportunity. If we don’t know there is an issue, how are we supposed to solve it?
How do you define user friendly?
At the end the area that we ned to focus the most to make sure that a software is successful is the user experience. At the end, even if it’s for personal or business purposes, customers search for a product atht can meet all their eneds. This is why user friendly products are usually more sucessful than those complex. Also, if your product is full of bugs, most probably customers will avoid it. So please keep always in mind the end-user and their time. At the end they are the ones using it and, especially if it’s for work purposes… time is money.
Do you have any other ones in mind? Which are the criterias that you would add to the list? If you have any kind of question, reach us out here!