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If you doubt the importance of user experience, read about Apple – whose success is driven by customers’ satisfaction with user-friendly versions of existing products. Or, read these case studies of how small changes to a site’s wording, photos, or navigation significantly increased sales. On a larger scale, read about how design-centric organizations outperformed the S&P 500 by 228% over the past decade. It’s clear: what a consumer sees in a store or on a screen matters; so, consumer companies have responded accordingly.
But what about B2B companies? After all, on any given (work)day, consumers spend about half of their awake time working. Unfortunately, the tools used in this part of the day haven’t been as user-friendly. Whether because of users’ limited choice, a focus on infrastructure over ease-of-use, or something else, B2B offerings have often suffered from poor user experiences.
However, not all of them. A number of B2B companies have prioritized ease-of-use in their software – and on their websites. Here are three of them:
Join.me is not unique in supporting online meetings. What differentiates it from competitors is its transparency and expediency. For example, most online meeting companies require you to download software to share your screen with others; join.me seems to be the only one to clearly indicate this (the red box is mine). Compare that to competitors, which start a heretofore-unmentioned download as soon as you agree to “host a meeting” or “share your screen.”
Another user experience win for Join.me is what happens if you enter an invalid meeting code: Join.me shows an error message below the field, so you can see what you typed to correct it. Competitors often cover the input field with an error message, making it difficult to fix the typo.
Like other social media support tools, Buffer lets users schedule posts in advance, analyze past posts, find new content, and set up workflows for posting. When it comes to user experience, the company often beats its competitors. For example, a few hours after the tragic Paris terror attacks, Buffer added the following message to the top of its tool:
This message showed how well Buffer knows its users, and it offered a valuable service for those who hadn’t yet thought to take the suggested action or hadn’t seen the news. There was no such message shown in most competing social media support platforms. In this case, the usability came not from UX design, but from the ability to anticipate and prepare for user needs in real time. And it didn’t hurt that acting on the information was a one-click process that didn’t require manual resetting of each post in the queue.
There is a seemingly endless number of tools available for tracking task progress as a team. Asana has one of the better experiences for use cases requiring collaboration or recurrence. For example, it is quite easy to add specific team members to a task, to keep everyone up to date. By comparison, many competitive tools lack this kind of granularity: the options are often to either share with everyone, or to keep private.
Asana also makes it easy to create task templates for recurring projects, saving time. This capability shows the tool’s understanding of business tasks’ repeating nature.
Those are three tools with user experiences I appreciate. Is there another B2B site that you find particularly easy to use?
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