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Don't Fight the User Interface - It Usually Wins



Businesses and government have adopted off-the-shelf software, especially cloud software products, to avoid the cost and technical risk which have often accompanied custom software development.  This means that software vendors control the user experience such as navigation, menus, colors, fonts, and all other aspects of the products. Faced with rapid innovation and competition, cloud software vendors are introducing updates at an increasingly rapid pace, forcing users to relearn on the fly.  Browser-based solutions also embody the behavior of the specific browser each user chooses, such as Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

In some cases, you may not like the most recent version, or an update may be disruptive to your user community. Should you write code to recreate the previous interface? Or circumvent the default behavior of the browser or the app?

My experience is that resistance to the user interface of a commercial product is largely futile. Accepting changes introduced by the vendor is part of the trade-off of COTS v. custom software.  Even if you can temporarily fend off an upgrade, in the long run you are likely to want the latest and supported version of every software product.

The solution is continuous training to help your users achieve greater productivity and take advantage of new features and options as they are introduced.  Too often training is an afterthought, and users do not know where to turn for learning resources.  Without training and support, adoption will suffer along with your business goals.

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