All developments in the field of user experience show that we are on the verge of stopping typing data. Data remains necessary to be consumed as information ultimately. But the entry will soon have two changes. First, minimizing imports by deducing the required data. And second, the use of voice apps instead of apps that need a keyboard. These developments are already at an advanced stage. The rise of digital assistants, such as Google Home, Alexa, and Siri, clearly shows this. These chatbots are an ideal stepping stone to less typed input to eventually talk to the business application, your SAP system.
Since the 1970s, not much has changed in the field of User Experience when it comes to the operation of software applications. We capture the data to process it later as information in reports or to use it as a basis for making decisions. The input screens contain more and more fields because we want to collect more and more data.
Changes regarding input screens
The screens look a lot more user-friendly and have a more modern outlook than before. They changed from the first black screens with green letters and function keys to touch screens with buttons. In the end, they all do the same thing, they ask you to type in data. Software developers have developed all those screens. Their world, making these import applications, has been subject to the necessary changes. The first screens were made in simple first-generation languages, which took a lot of work for most simple screens. Over time, this has gotten better, and they were able to use third-generation languages and, nowadays, low-code generators to develop more complex applications in a shorter time.
Unfortunately, these input screens often ask for the same information over and over again and want data that is already known. It is time to take steps forward. Let us upgrade. Or rather downgrade.
What are you thinking? What steps? I can hear you thinking about this.
It would be more comfortable and more efficient if every UX designer and developer applied a few principles, namely “one-time entry,” “one time right,” and “only what is needed.” Using these principles would mean building applications based on a minimized number of input fields and maximizing the data required. Deduce the data because you already know who is using the app. By deduction of the data you already know or can determine from the location. Deduce additional information based on data being entered.
Deduction is key
This deducing leads to applications that require less input. Simple chatbots that need just a few answers to capture a sales order, handle a leave request, record a meeting request with multiple colleagues, or support one of all those other business processes. From using chatbots to using voice-only applications is only a small step forward. Imagine. No more input screens on your desk, but talking to your watch to get your work done.
Does this sound too futuristic? Maybe so, but the possibilities are already here today.