Bold, bright colours and simple design can revolutionise the way your colleagues do business.
Back in the early 1900s, Henry Ford told the American public they could have any colour of car they liked, “So long as it’s black.” His offer kept the customer satisfied for decades, even though there was nothing stopping them getting a completely different shade of paintwork.
It’s the same with IT. Everyone’s got used to grey boxes and extremely functional software. In fact we’ve all come to expect it. That’s fine if the software is just being used by the experts. But when you start sharing it across your organisation with devolved accounting, it might be difficult for some people to pick up.
The beauty of colour
Lots of bold graphics, strong colours and simple signposting all help to make software extremely user-friendly. So people who might not normally use finance software, say heads of other departments, can find their way around quickly and easily. That’s good news for your organisation. After all, there’s no point getting new software if it’s holding some people back. But with a user-friendly system, you can make sure you unleash all the benefits:
• The introduction of a self-service culture, so budget holders and directors can get the information they
need, when they need it
• More power for managers – they can take full control of their financial data
• Faster business performance – managers have the facts at their fingertips to make decisions instantly
• More freedom for your finance staff – rather than producing reports for every department, they can focus on strategy and building the business
• Faster invoicing – with no need to send invoices off for approval
• Controlled spending – your colleagues can see exactly what they’re spending and pull the reigns in
whenever they need to.
It’s all pretty compelling stuff. And with user-friendly graphics and at a glance dashboards, it could all be
coming to your offices very soon.
Smartening up, not dumbing down
But what about the experts in your business? Won’t they feel patronised or short-changed by bold and bright software? Not at all. Although the visuals look simple, that doesn’t mean the software is. Under the bonnet you’ll still find all the core functionality you need.
By making sure that your system can be tailored exactly according to the needs of the end user, all the financial whizzes in your organisation can still get their hands on all the core functionality. While departmental managers and users just see what they need to.
So rather than dumbing down, it’s about making everything more intuitive for everyone. Simple graphics make it easy to access and see on smaller screens too, like mobiles or tablets. So if a department director is on the go or in a meeting, they can still get the info they need to make those key, business-changing decisions.
Simple to follow screens help to speed up processes across departments too. Admin users just have a few
steps to follow and a few clicks to make.
Flat is the way forward
The big trend in software development at the moment is in keeping it simple, with at a glance menus and swiping technology. If you’ve used Windows 8 you’ll know exactly the kind of thing. Or take iOS, which comes with lots of new intuitive functionality, and bold, bright designs.
You’ve probably heard of ‘flat design’. It’s really just a fancy term for bold colours, minimal text and user-friendly features. Interfaces are no longer designed to look like other things, like car dashboards or calculators.
Instead, you get simple graphics, straight lines and high colour contrasts. That’s exactly what the end-user wants. In fact, a recent survey in the US showed that of the five most popular apps, namely Facebook, YouTube, Google Play, Google Search and Pandora, all of them use flat design. It’s all easy on the eye, and very easy for users to get the hang of too. So everyone in your organisation can plug into the benefits that devolved accounting can bring.