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Want to improve user adoption? Get rid of the screen noise
11 September 2015, by , in Data Management, No comments

As a former association executive who spent many years working in the association database, I remember the days of having screens with all kinds of fields that no one ever touched. For example, I worked in one system that displayed 16 fields for demographic data about a customer, even though my association didn’t collect any demographic data on our members.

Back in the good old days (the 20th century), in most systems you were stuck with whatever was put on the screen. If you have a field (or many fields!) that you didn’t use, you just ignored them. But they were ever-present on the screen. That’s what I call screen noise.

The good news is that in almost all of today’s modern AMS systems, the user can control what data he or she sees on the screen. Got a field that you’re not using? Just hide it. Need to have key data from other parts of the database showing on your “home” screen? Move those fields to your home screen. The information you need is there, and the noise is gone.

Believe it or not, screen noise can dampen user adoption. So if you have an AMS that will allow you to modify your view, work with your staff to identify what information should be (and should not be) on your home screen. You might be surprised to find that user adoption of the system increases.

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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