Does UI/UX Matter so much?

ManojTandon | Founder & Managing Partner | Dalitso | Insights Success
ManojTandon | Founder & Managing Partner | Dalitso

There is a lot of discussion around User Interface design and best practices.
With the enhancement in web Technologies these things seems to have taken a new dimension of their own. The terms is thrown about so much that sometimes one starts wondering whether it is really that important or has it also become a part of the sales jargon to talk big words and increase prices.
The above question, while applicable to all software’s, becomes especially relevant in case of High End Business Application Software e.g. ERP, CRM systems
The second aspect is that do the designers even understand the concept and implementation of good UI/UX in software’s.
What I have been observing in the recent past is that, quite often, when today’s users look at a product they expect to see a kind of user interface that they are used to by the usual daily exposure they have on the internet, such as social media, news web sites etc. When they see a more “traditional” design approach they tend to characterize the software “old”, “cumbersome” and “not functional”. And all this before they even press a single button!
We all know that High End Applications are required not because they look and feel good but because they have to enable running a business in a way that it creates efficiencies, effectiveness and help create differentiation in the market place.
While UI/UX is good to have (without a doubt) but sometimes people take it as the be-all and end-all of the application evaluation process. I have heard arguments like the system should have been modernized or revamped from its previous version to look more fresh and contemporary.
People express these views before having seen how things work inside the application, how entities are connected to each other, how the reporting capabilities of the whole system suit their needs and stop at the first element of examination: the User Interface.
So big is the impact of this discussion, that we see newer systems adapt to the general requirements of the current mid-level management age range, which is the millennials: people that have aged with social media, sites like Facebook, twitter, Messenger for their communication needs etc. That adaptation is their effort to be liked by the today’s buyer (which is in many cases a millennial professional).
The above raises the question – Is UI/UX overrated in the context of High End Business Applications? Please notice the word “overrated”, it is useful but is it overrated?
My answer is no. When we examine a piece of software, we must first examine if it gets the work (that we need) done.
The step is does it have just the right information that is required to run the business in other words do we need to customize the software to make it easier to operate by non-IT users.
My experience over the years (and different technologies used) is that the discussion around User Interface is indeed a valid one, as long as it evolves around ease of use and it aligns with the business processes work in an organization. Other than that, it just confuses the users and inflates cost.
Any kind of user interface will eventually be digested by the users and they will forget how they used to do things. What can’t be overlooked is the problem that a particular system does not fit the purpose and was selected only because it looked fresher, more functional and contemporary.
My suggestion to all buyers, especially the younger ones, is to not “judge by appearances”, you will only end-up using your budget and hard earned money of the organization in things that don’t matter.
In a nutshell, UI/UX is useful but not critical enough to be a part of decision making matrix for an enterprise. Because if you make it a part of the matrix, you run the risk of having a High End application which looks nice, contemporary, fresh BUT does not do its job.
 About the Author
ManojTandon  is the Founder and Managing Partner of Dalitso (TMTC), a Growth Consulting Company and an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow. Dalitso operates in the area of Growth Consulting. He can be contacted at

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