There has been an explosion of software development in the last decade. This has been spurred by the ongoing digitalization trend among businesses, both big and small. Digitalization is the idea that businesses have to transform some or all of their business operations into the digital realm to make the most of the digital marketplace. 

Coupled with innovations in the software development life cycle (SDLC) which have allowed iteration and launch of new software products within a few weeks, the result is an explosion of software applications, websites, web apps, and mobile apps. If you have a business software project in mind but don’t know how to get started, you can get more information on business software design from Azumo Nearshore Software Development and other similar software designers.

Here are some of the key elements you should never forget when designing your business software:

  1. The Basic Idea Or Solution

One of the most important elements that you should keep in mind when designing your business software is the basic idea or solution underpinning your software. Every software, app, or website contains a proposed solution to something which is considered a need or a problem. Real estate software, for instance, could be about building a search engine for real estate listings.

It doesn’t mean that the final software package should remain a simple algorithm meant for only one concern or problem. It could contain multiple features, functionalities, processes, and workflows. But the overall purpose and objective of the software should be simple enough to encompass a solution to a single specific need or problem. It’s also sometimes referred to as your business case, or that one thing your business software is built to do. 

For example, productivity software applications such as word processors or spreadsheets were designed and developed to enable their users to increase their productivity in performing certain tasks. E-commerce applications are intended to enable their users to promote and sell products and services on the internet. Web design websites were conceptualized and developed to enable their users to create their own websites even though they didn’t know how to write computer code.

  1. Your User Persona

Another key element you should never forget when you design and develop your business software is your user persona. When you’re conceptualizing and planning your software, you should have at least a basic idea of who’ll end up using the software that you’re going to design and develop. The user persona is essential for you to be able to ground your concepts and coding into features and functionalities that’d really help the type of person you have in mind.

You don’t need to have a detailed understanding of your user personality yet when you’re still in the preliminary analysis and planning stages of your software development life cycle. It’s enough that you should have a basic common sense understanding of what a typical average user would like to do if he or she were given such software as you’re now trying to develop.

  1. Robust User Experience Planning

You are, of course, free to develop a more thorough and robust user persona through data analytics, surveys, focus group discussions, and other methods of gaining an in-depth understanding of the profile, traits, preferences, and biases of your user persona. What’s important is you have a working knowledge of what a user would like to see in such software that you’re developing. 

For business software development, this would mean that you’d have to hold numerous meetings with some of your potential users, expected stakeholders, and prospective corporate clients. This would enhance the focus and robustness of your user experience (UX) planning on the actual needs of your potential users. 

For instance, you should meet up with e-commerce companies if you’re going to develop order fulfillment software that they can use as a plug-in for their existing e-commerce or online stores. You might also have to meet with existing e-commerce platforms to coordinate on the APIs that’d enable your app or software to work well with their own platforms.

For website redesign, this could mean you’ll have to use the data analytics of the existing website to understand the behavior of the website’s users. That’s a potential minefield of valuable information and insights if the website kept a tracker of how their users interacted and behaved while using their website. You can use data analytics tools to interpret that data. It’d help you understand and build a user persona based on the actual interaction and behavior of their site users.

  1. Basic Features And Functionalities

When you’ve already determined the basic rationale and purpose of why you’re designing and developing your software, you can enumerate and outline the basic features and functionalities that you’re going to include in your software or application. The basic features and functionalities are the things that your prospective user could do with the use of your proposed software.

If the basic idea or solution is your unique value-added proposition, then the features and functionalities are the tools and capabilities you’re offering to your prospective user to help them meet a need or solve a specific problem. The features and functionalities are the things that’ll enable your prospective users to do what they need to do using your software. 

For e-commerce platforms, they might expect order fulfillment software to help them link social media inquiries and orders with their warehouse inventory. They’d most likely want a feature that’d enable them to respond to inquiries whether a certain product is available or they’ll have to wait for you to restock. 

Potential client companies would, of course, want to have a feature that’d allow them to place orders in batches for products that were recently sold and are lying low in stock or supply. 

E-commerce platforms would also like to have APIs that’d allow their cargo delivery and freight forwarding partners to enlist and offer their services. They’d likely also want to see features that enable them to monitor and track the status of deliveries, with real-time monitoring and tracking.

  1. Workflow And Sequence Of Interaction

Another key element you should keep in mind when designing your business software is the workflow and sequence of interaction. You need to carefully design the flow of your software application from one task to another, from one functionality to a sub-menu or dropdown sub-feature, or from one web page to another. This is an important aspect of software design and development because it’ll affect the user experience as well as the user’s workflow.

When you already have the preliminary design and user data analytics on how they’re interacting with your first iterations, you need to evaluate whether your workflow and interaction dynamics are optimized for user experience. Numerous complex software applications were launched in the market, but they never got off the ground because their users found them cumbersome or confusing to use.

Conclusion

Your business software should have that one basic idea that should be simple enough to meet a specific need or solve a specific problem. You should start with an imagined user persona so you can plan how your software will work. You can use this user persona to add focus and robustness to your user experience (UX) planning. It’s important that your business software is grounded in what your potential users would need when they start using the software for real. You should carefully select the features, functionalities, workflow, and interactions.