"User-friendly" is in the eye of the beholder

Just like beauty, the idea of software being “user-friendly” is in the eye of the beholder.

Very often when I talk with clients about what they need from a new AMS, they’ll say something to the effect of “It has to be user-friendly.”

I agree.

But what does user-friendly look like? Well, that depends on who you ask.

And therein lies the problem.

Asking for “user-friendly” is like asking for pretty. Only the person looking at it can say if it is or is not.

So you have to define what user-friendly means. Does it mean staff can find any piece of data in two clicks? Does it mean that online users don’t have to log on to make a donation? Does it mean that staff can learn the system without training? Or something else entirely?

Like beauty, “user-friendly” is really in the eye of the beholder. So take some time define what it means.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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