Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

The DATA Act Driving Grant Management Automation

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act enacted in May 2014 calls for making spending data available in open, standardized formats to be published online.  It is a continuation of transparency initiatives and lessons learned with experiences such as grants.gov, the 2009 economic stimulus under the Recovery Act and the spending site USASpending.gov.

Government grantees will have significant new administrative responsibilities.  Many organizations that were tracking grants in spreadsheets or documents will have to adopt more sophisticated automated grant management systems such as Microsoft Grants Manager to keep up with reporting rules.

For profit companies will lose some privacy as a result of this law.  Grant recipients will be required to disclose information including officer salaries.

Continued improvements to publishing grant opportunities such as grants.gov may make it easier to find grants. These reforms together are designed to improve the effectiveness of grant prog…

Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

One of InfoStrat's most popular solutions is Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon).



Here are some answers to frequently asked question on this solution:
Can I add new fields to the solution?  -- Yes, the solution is fully customizable and you can add your own new fields to any form, view or report.Does Dynamics 365 for GovCon work on mobile devices?  -- Yes, Microsoft offers mobile apps for all the most popular platforms including iPhone, iPad, and Android phone and tablets.Does Dynamics 365 connect with bid data systems such as Deltek and Onvia?  -- Some information services, such as Onvia, offer integration with Dynamics 365.  Others require third party solutions such as the InfoStrat integration with Deltek GovWin IQ.What do customers typically customize for their unique requirements? -- Not all contractors follow the same steps in the capture process.  Most clients will tailor the business process to add or remove steps in order to match their sales methodology.  Of…

Big Data for Microsoft Office 365 -- Office Graph

Most people think that big data techniques are for organizations that churn out massive volumes of data, such as corporations and government agencies.  But it turns out that if you spend a significant portion of your life online, you are a miniature big data factory yourself.  Many us end up with a significant and constantly growing digital footprint including your emails, photos, phone calls, text messages, shared documents, social media electronic transaction records and more.

Microsoft is applying big data tools to help you understand patterns in your online network. Office Graph maps content and activity from Microsoft Office, including email, social conversations, and meetings, and documents in SharePoint and OneDrive.



Office Graph applies machine learning techniques to your data.  It offers a query language as well as developer tools.



Office Graph is in preview mode now and subject to change.  Watch for it and for related products from Microsoft and other vendors to tap into st…