Product Tips

Experience matters: Why enterprise software must put the user first


Published on June 19, 2018

If you’ve ever chosen software for your team, you know how tricky the decision process can be.

Your employees care deeply about how their tools work: they want more than check boxes and functionality. They want a great experience—a tool that’s both simple and satisfying to use.

That’s why more and more IT managers are taking a bottom-up approach to picking tools. Instead of mandating a top-down solution—complete with disgruntled employees and low adoption rates—IT admins are looking at which software employees already love. With this in mind, Dropbox, Asana, and Slack are working together to provide the best of both worlds: tools that serve big company needs, but most importantly, that each employee loves to use.

Simpler, friendlier tools

In her 2018 Internet Trends Report, Mary Meeker identified a growing trend: the consumerization of enterprise software. Specifically, she noted how companies like Dropbox and Slack are taking a user-first mindset, even when they’re developing tools for giant companies. Dropbox “takes concepts that are proven winners from the dev community and puts them in a package that my little sister can figure out,” said Dropbox CEO and co-founder Drew Houston in 2007. Dropbox maintained this DNA over the next decade, even as it built enterprise-grade tools.

As Meeker points out, this user-first mindset has allowed enterprise companies using Dropbox to see a 31% reduction in IT support time, and 3,700 hours saved annually in document management. When the tools work intuitively, the employees don’t have to spend extra time trying to figure things out.

Meeker highlights similar gains from Slack, which brings the right people, context, information and conversations together to make collaboration a snap. Enterprises using Slack have observed a 32% decline in email use and 23% decline in meetings—the kind of activities that tend to disrupt a team’s productivity. As a result, they’ve seen a 10% rise in employee satisfaction.

Better integration

Simply making software easier to use is only half the battle. Employees increasingly want their tools to work better together as well—so they don’t have to interrupt the team’s flow. That’s why Dropbox connects with Slack to make sharing files and documents easy—right from Slack. When you’re in the middle of a Slack conversation, you don’t want to have to switch tools just to pull up the right PDF or Paper doc. That’s where the Dropbox-Slack integration becomes so important.

Or when you’re managing tasks in Asana, it’s important that all your files—whether design mock-ups or PowerPoint decks—can be readily available, in sync and up to date. The Dropbox-Asana integration ensures employees can move forward without any interruptions to their workflow. It’s these seamless connections between tools that help sustain the user-first mindset so critical in today’s enterprise tools.

We’re passionate about developing a better way of working that puts user experience first. We’re proud to partner with tools like Slack and Asana to help achieve that goal.

Join our webinar to see how your team can do its best work by putting experience first