Best Practices for Enterprise Application Design

Enterprise app design best practices

Enterprise App Design Best Practices

The different areas of your enterprise need to work together seamlessly for a unified user experience. Enterprise application design helps mesh all the working parts of your company, including sales, brand image, and employee workflows. Imagine your hardest-working employee times 1,000, and you’ve still not reached the productivity level that an enterprise app can achieve for your organization.

Enterprise applications must take a multifaceted approach, working on both the front-end and back-ends, while also meeting the needs of employees and customers. Enterprise web application design requires far more intricate coding and custom detail than just putting together a useful app or user experience (UX) design. For one thing, when you design for an enterprise, you must place security at the top of your list of features. Otherwise, you risk putting the entire company at risk.

The best enterprise app designs require juggling different requirements into a cohesive unit. It takes considerable experience and patience for the enterprise design agency to ensure the user interface (UI) and UX match the organization’s needs and are able to meet expectations. Although the content and requirements are going to vary by industry, they do have a few things in common.

Blis Enterprise App Design

Blis Enterprise App Design by Fuselab Creative

How Can You Ensure Enterprise Application Design Is Secure?

Approximately 58% of companies moved their critical applications to the cloud in 2022. At the same time, around 27% of surveyed organizations admitted to a security incident over their public cloud. This number is most likely under-reported, as not all companies want to make this kind of thing public. Ensuring you mitigate the risks of breaches requires a detailed plan with some safeguards in place. 

Here are some things to focus on to avoid the most common security risks:

  • Ensure your multi-cloud environments are compatible. Incompatibility can lead to security holes and potential breaches.
  • Install tools to scan for misconfigurations and vulnerabilities. Allow artificial intelligence to catch weaknesses and offer fixes before they become backdoors into your system. 
  • Install updates immediately. No matter what design framework your system resides on, keep it updated to avoid security issues. This point cannot be emphasized enough. We regularly build applications with clients who don’t enter into robust maintenance agreements and end up paying a much higher price to fix issues after they have already caused significant problems for their customers.
  • Work with third-party vendors to stay up-to-date with compliance certifications. Since your system will likely integrate with other companies, you’ll want to ensure you only work with those that are also focused on security and safety. 

Enlist security experts to find vulnerabilities in your enterprise app UI design prior to launch and throughout the lifecycle of your product. Investing in user interface design services is worth the peace of mind that your organization and customer data are safe. Your app designers can’t be expected to know every potential issue, but when you put a maintenance team to work, you create a system of safeguards and best practices that make your data much more secure for years to come. 

How Can You Improve Your Company’s Efficiency?

Finding ways to make your employees more productive benefits you and helps keep your employees more engaged. The trick is not to create an overly burdensome environment for employees, while still continuously improving efficiencies. This is exactly where an enterprise application comes in handy. Enterprise application design takes all the processes in your company and predicts what will work best in current and predictable future situations. You can easily spot and fix issues before they become larger problems. While you can also do very targeting planning for the future based on the data you have been collecting with your application and connected third-party apps like Slack and Jira.

Blis Enterprise App Design by Fuselab Creative

1. Using Sensors to Track Inventory

Company logistics and inventory tracking is a complex task for large-scale operations and smaller businesses alike. One of the best ways to improve customer satisfaction is by speeding up shipping time and ensuring the buyer receives their items quickly and correctly.

If you’ve ever had a large order go missing; possibly a palette of products misplaced in a warehouse, or any other inventory issue, adding sensors and plugging them into an enterprise tracking system will ensure this rarely happens. However, when this issue does occur, a properly programmed enterprise app immediately comes to the rescue and repairs the problem by recognizing the error in seconds and fulfilling the missed order or items or alerting someone who can.

Equally important, is that with a robust system of tracking, service agents can tap into the system and locate the product if someone calls and asks why their order hasn’t arrived, and give them a new delivery date and discount the order if needed. Once they see the exact location of the product, they can update the customer or reach out to the shipping provider to get things moving again.

Sensors on expensive items can also save your company money. If something goes missing, you’ll be able to track it more easily, which can help with fraud and business profitability. 

2. Managing Risks

Financial institutions handle sensitive data and personal details that must be kept secure and organized for easy reference. Enterprise applications allow banks to pull up information on a pending loan application in mere seconds. 

Your loan officers will have a chance to review information more efficiently, seek the underwriters assigned to the loan, and approve or deny loans quickly. Placing the information in the cloud allows multiple people to access and move the loan to the next phase in the process smoothly. Most companies are doing this kind of thing every day via off-the-shelf enterprise apps, but with a custom enterprise app, you can take what you are using now and incorporate the available APIs to produce the most effective app possible for your business. One that truly gives you a competitive advantage in your market.

3. Preventing Breakdowns

Manufacturing companies may run into process issues when equipment breaks. The entire assembly line may have to wait for a machine repair before moving on and putting out the product again. Such problems can cause a lot of lost time and money for factories.

However, you can use predictive analytics and machine learning with an enterprise application design and inform line supervisors when a machine might break down or indicate a need for preventative maintenance.

Enterprise App Design for by Fuselab Creative

Enterprise App UI Design Best Practices

Focusing on enterprise web app UI design gives you a chance to ensure users feel comfortable with how your site and processes work together and function on the front end. What is the look and feel of your app, and how do you deploy your brand throughout the visual styling may not seem super important in comparison to the functional elements, but they are and should not be overlooked. 

Keep in mind that your staff may have already used other solutions before. They may be comfortable with specific enterprise UI design patterns. As a builder of numerous enterprise apps, we know that a key building block for success demands that you create a design system. The use of a design system also allows you to implement changes without the use of a trained designer and helps create a unified look for years to come.

1. Using Design Systems for Enterprise Applications

You must think about best practices, repeating patterns and the process users go through as they use your app when creating enterprise design systems. For example, web app design works best when you offer a consistent look throughout the user interface; this includes even the most mundane content areas like an error message pop-up. Enterprise application UI design ensures the entire interface is similar across pages and actions. It’s also, hopefully, the end product of extensive user testing and reviews, which help developers create the most intuitive and seamless version of their end product. The truth is, only a small segment of your customers will stomach an experience that requires training. Instead, they want what they are used to, a “plug and play” experience based on their current knowledge and nothing more.

When you think of design systems, digital companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and the Bearn enterprise health app are excellent examples of meeting consumer needs. Each is in a different industry, but they all have a strong interface that delivers services, tracks satisfaction, deals with issues, and brings customers back over and over again.

2. Auditing Your Current Design

If you have an existing enterprise app, we suggest spending some time looking at your current UI design and the offered functionalities. Is your user interface intuitive, or does it often create confusion for users at certain points? Or, even worse, does your current system sit unused because everyone avoids it if they can?

Take the time to go through each function in your app. Does everything work as expected? Are all functional features consistent? What about speed, does it deliver quickly, or are certain functions causing delays or timeouts?

You can only fix your design once you spot the weaknesses in it. If you feel too close to the project, reach out to colleagues, and ask them to test your app and see what might be improved. Make sure to give them all the same goals or tasks to achieve so that you get a broad perspective on specific challenges.

3. Surveying for Market Needs

The most beautiful design systems for enterprises aren’t worth much if users don’t need the features you offer. Talk to your current users about how well your enterprise UI design works to meet their expectations. Find areas for improvement and tweak problem areas first before adding new elements to your interface. 

For example, if you’re revamping a healthcare app design, you would consider how many patients are familiar with digital health technology and how many need additional prompts to move through the system. Pay attention to errors users get and how you might fix issues to avoid dead ends. 

Enterprise web application UI design can make or break the way users interact with your platform. 

Don't wait to make needed updates to your enterprise application.

Don't wait to make needed updates to your enterprise application.

We built our reputation as a true human-centered design agency, find out why.

UX Design for Enterprise Applications

How can you ensure the user experience is everything you need it to be with your enterprise dashboard design? Users take a journey from the minute they land on your website or download your app. You don’t want them to falter, or they may bounce away to a competitor. 

UX and UI are intricately interwoven. You can’t have a positive enterprise application UX design without also creating a beautiful and highly functional UI. 

Here are some things to keep in mind with your UX design for enterprise applications:

1. Know Your Audience

Enterprise users usually tap into the system multiple times a day and may use the software for hours rather than minutes. Ensuring it’s user-friendly helps improve your site’s UX. Design systems for enterprises can sometimes be bulky as you try to cover every process and procedure. However, users crave simplicity, so look for enterprise UX design patterns that help you present a minimalistic design and utilize the least amount of functionality or clicks to achieve user goals.

Additionally, users across the board want ways to customize applications to meet their needs. This can be done through the selection of filters or user log-in recognition to send them right back to where they left off. Personalization is a huge topic for another time, but it needs to be mentioned anytime we are discussing app design and product development.

2. Avoiding Feature Creep

Your employees may request new processes and features over time. However, your app design can become cumbersome and overwhelming if you try to do too many things in too many categories. One rule of thumb to begin considering in an app redesign is if it takes more than a few seconds to find the tab, button, link, or icon the user will most like grow frustrated and avoid using the app if possible.

3. Create Nimble Software

You’ll need software that can adapt to new regulations, processes, and is able to change with your industry as your enterprise grows over time. Building a pixel-perfect pre-coded design system allows your app design to be easily adjusted when needed, and to accommodate for regular updates. This is one of the main reasons off-the-shelf templates can come back to bite you. Templates are cheaper for a reason, and although they may work for a while, the inherent limitations will ultimately hold you back from the kinds of customizations that will undoubtedly come your way sooner or later.

Enterprise App UI Design for Blis Project by Fuselab Creative

Utilizing Data Forecasting

One of the biggest benefits of enterprise application design is the ability to forecast data and optimize outputs. One example would be predictive modeling. Enterprise apps can use machine learning combined with basic statistics to offer some typical or expected outcomes and give you a window into the future. The predictions allow companies to pivot and adjust before running into pitfalls that slow down growth or waste money.

1. Serving Customers Better

You can also use big data to dig into customer analytics to influence your decision-making when developing new products to better meet the needs of your clients. Your users will begin to rely on you as a cutting-edge company that consistently develops new solutions that are keeping up with customer demands and changes. Staying ahead means staying relevant in your customer’s eyes.

2. Improving Supply Chains

You can also tap into predictive analytics to determine when and how much of a certain product you need to deliver your products or services. Companies often struggle when they buy too much or too little inventory and get caught scrambling to make up for the misjudgment. An abundance can lead to your products sitting unsold and money tied up for long periods. On the other hand, too little product can frustrate customers and cause them to turn to a competitor to secure the items they need. Have you ever arrived at the airport, only to find out your airline overbooked the plane and you no longer have a seat? Your first thought, almost always, is I’m never flying with “blank airline” again!

Nearly every industry has suffered from supply chain issues in some way since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Restaurants can’t find the foods they need to keep running efficiently and serve their favorite dishes. Automobile manufacturers are still having trouble securing computer chips for their complex, computer-driven vehicles, forcing delivery to auto dealers to dramatically slow down for some makers. 

Predictive enterprise applications let you avoid some of the issues and better meet your customers’ needs. 

Enterprise App Design: Conclusions

Creating a highly functioning enterprise app design doesn’t happen quickly, in fact, rushing to meet unreasonable deadlines can be extremely detrimental and end up producing a useless product. You should expect the project to go through several phases to ensure it works properly and meets your and your users’ needs. User testing at each phase or milestone in the process is critical.

Making continuous refinements to your app is not just part of our digital product design and development world. In a recent article in Wired magazine, it was reported that Amazon now pushes new code to their primary environment approximately every minute of every day. How often are you making improvements to your product or services?

When was the last update you made to your product or service?

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About Author

Marc Caposino

Marc has over 20 years of senior-level creative experience; developing countless digital products, mobile and Internet applications, marketing and outreach campaigns for numerous public and private agencies across California, Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. In 2017 Marc co-founded Fuselab Creative with the hopes of creating better user experiences online through human-centered design.