Bad design is costly. In August 2020, a Citibank contractor attempted to send $7.8 million in interest payments to creditors on behalf of Revlon. Thanks to a confusing user interface, he sent $900 million. After failing to recoup $500 million from assorted creditors, Citibank sued, but on February 16 a federal court ruled that the creditors aren’t obligated to return the money.
Internal digital products aren’t a popular design topic, but they’re crucial to operations at most large companies. They’re also notoriously hard to use. “With internal products, there tends to be a lack of strategy. As more features are added, products become cluttered and hard to manage,” said Alexandre Brito, a UX designer with more than a decade of experience working for leading technology and automotive brands. “From a UI perspective, most enterprise products don’t have a meaningful component library. They mix design elements from multiple sources, and that creates problems with inconsistency.”
At the enterprise level, user mistakes can imperil thousands of employees, customers, and shareholders. With so much at stake, usability isn’t a luxury; it’s mandatory. Fortunately, the design issues that plague employee-facing products are easy to identify, and there are proven interaction principles that ensure interfaces are intuitive and unburdened by needless information.
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