Make enterprise software really sexy -- romance the user!

Think about it -- what's makes a romantic date really romantic? It's spontaneous, in which one or both parties let their whims take them to some delightful unexpected place.

Think about it -- what's makes a romantic date really romantic? It's spontaneous, in which one or both parties let their whims take them to some delightful unexpected place. It doesn't have to be an expensive date. And, importantly, it's a two-way conversation, with both individuals sharing their interests, and actively listening -- without someone dominating the conversation. There's a genuine interest in what the other individual has to say and express.

Perhaps in ZDNet blogging colleague Michael Krigman's recent blogo-kerfuffle over the homeliness of enterprise software, there's a point that wasn't getting enough attention -- where's the romance for the end user of enterprise software? Who's actively and genuinely listening to him or her?

Entice the end user -- Jevon MacDonald hit upon this very well in his response to the kerfuffle. Enterprise software will be sexy, and people will talk about it, he says:

  • "When it disrupts instead of enforces";
  • "When the user is in control";
  • "When it is surprising"; and
  • "When it changes."

And, Oliver Widder of Geek & Poke fame really cut right to the heart of the matter, as shown below. If you want sexiness, start listening to what the user wants -- not treating him or her like a stepchild.

The Stepchild of Enterprise Software, by Oliver Widder, Geek & Poke

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