A graphical user interface is a pre-requisite for many business consumers.
Customers are more connected now than ever before – an ‘always on’ mentality spans both our personal and business lives through a multiplicity of devices both large and small, mobile and stationary. In the UK, the over-18s are thought to spend an average of 8 hours 15 minutes using digital devices inclusive of computers, mobile phones and tablets.
You may look at this statistic yourself and face the reality that you are way above average in this particular survey, especially those of us working long hours in front of one (or more!) screens. In fact, we spend 1.5 additional hours on digital devices than we did just three years ago; and you won’t be surprised to read that this will increase again in 2017.
But we’re not just looking at screens. 20 years ago, the nearest I got to a graphical user interface (GUI) was Teletext; whereas today we are all experts, fluently and seamlessly navigating through online store-fronts, price comparison websites, social media front-ends and a plethora of sites and apps which make our lives more functional – and often, easier too.
We have developed a seemingly inherent ability to understand complex and mission critical information through the genius of carefully designed interfaces. If you read up on the principals of user interface design, you will pick up on a number of common themes which resonate through most of the major sites you visit and use on a daily basis. In particular, I believe the following three to be important:
- Forgiveness – we all make mistakes; but it’s not the end of the world. A user interface should tolerate mistakes, and prevent as many as possible to empower the consumer.
- Transparency – we don’t need to know how it works, it just needs to work.
- Familiarity – mirror the techniques employed by other interfaces to keep a shallow learning curve.
Online shopping has followed these principals for years. So too has email, social media, insurance and domestic energy comparison amongst many other rapidly growing markets. But the business utilities industry is lagging behind. Operating in a highly fragmented market, energy brokers (third party intermediaries) struggle to create a user experience which matches the service they provide – saving businesses money and helping them to manage energy in an efficient way.
It is difficult and costly to develop and produce systems which work for your consumers. But at UtilityClick, we believe in the principals of UI design. We create software which gives business consumers a familiar and transparent interface to secure and monitor energy procurement.
And you can even put your logo on it.