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A quick guide to enterprise UI design

Last updated

11 March 2023

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Jean Kaluza

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Creating and managing digital designs that work on an enterprise level presents unique challenges, but done well it provides your organization with streamlined functionality.

What is enterprise UI?

Enterprise UI refers to creating user interface (UI) designs that work on an enterprise level. Enterprise level means that your designs will be ready for large-scale implementation. Enterprise level UI design should be focused on efficiency rather than traditionally more aesthetic based decisions as to accommodate the challenges that come with large-scale use. 

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What's Different About Enterprise Applications?

Because enterprise applications are working on a large scale, they need to be designed in a way that meets the unique challenges of accommodating many users at the same time.

What does UI mean in business?

In business, the UI relates to the way the users can interact with the business's digital technologies. 

What is an enterprise UI framework?

The enterprise UI framework is the scaffolding that supports the process of creating enterprise UI design.

6 Quick Enterprise Interface Design Tips

If you want to create a UI design that functions well in any enterprise situation, follow these 6 tips.

1. Build tools for both users and established processes- Know the process and have the design intuitive enough that following the process is the easiest way to use the platform. 

2. Leverage global designs- Use design features that are recognized across the company globally.

3. Prioritize recognition- Even with large-scale applications, using recall will keep speed and practicality available.

4. Adjust your scaling- Focus less on creating prominent CTAs, and expect your design to convey a lot of detailed information.

5. Leverage established design patterns- Many useful design patterns have already been created, use these as the template for your new application.

6. Design for longevity- To make the investment worthwhile for releasing a new digital design, planning on what features may be needed and keeping them available will keep your technology useful.

Enterprise UI Design Challenges

Enterprise UI applications and software present unique challenges on both the development and design sides of creation. Let's take a look at 6 challenges you should expect to overcome to design a functional enterprise UI.

  • Complexity

Enterprise UI designs need to work well for all of the facets of an organization's needs, which can be challenging to accommodate intuitively and simply.

  • Security

UI design chooses what actions the user has access to, so designing something that can be completely usable without sacrificing security when an app is being used on an enterprise level is difficult. Often creating strict roles and permission access help navigate this tricky area.

  • Scalability

A UI design needs to be able to respond to growing and changing needs in terms of use and traffic when it is prepared for an enterprise. Keeping the UI performance at enterprise-level expectations requires careful design.

  • Responding to Change

As the business changes, the tools that are created using UI design need to remain in step with the organization's goals.

  • Separation of Concerns

Even though one application or software may be used by various parts of an enterprise, how these different departments interact with the design will be different.

  • High-volume Information

Trying to create a design that can work efficiently for the user (which is normally the main goal of UI design) coupled with the large amount of information and users that an enterprise UI will be accommodating is a tricky task.

What Other Challenges Do Design Teams Face?

After working with all of the challenges that appear simply in enterprise UI design, you may find your design still needing editing as you work through the challenges that come up because of working with an enterprise-level organization.

  • Vetting, Sign-off, and Approval

Being able to actually deliver your finished UI design to the users in your organization requires the sign-off and approval of the individuals who have the final say in what gets used by the organization. 

  • Support and Maintenance 

Each enterprise must decide whether is feasible to keep support and maintenance in-house or outsource these functions. This may limit or slow down the process of getting a UI design into the devices of users.

  • Life-cycle Management 

Planning for the entire lifespan of a particular software or application may require adding different features into the initial design.

B2B, B2C, and Internal Tools in Enterprise Environments

So far, we have discussed primarily the internal tools that are designed to work within the organization. Enterprise environments also need UI design that works with businesses and consumers. 2 examples of this are:

  • B2B UIs- Business-to-Business User Interface

  • Consumer-facing UIs- UIs that are designed to be used by the consumer and connect them to the organization.

Should the UI of internal enterprise tools match the public-facing UI?

Public-facing UI design has a different set of priorities than the internal tools being used. Therefore, while the UI should be intuitive and clear for both, making them match is not necessary.

What Are the Essential UI Design Tools?

Because a significant amount of the work on an Enterprise UI design will be done in-house, begin with traditional design tools. These might include:

  • Figma

  • Adobe XD

  • Axure

  • Sketch

Some of the more advanced tools that will allow you to build your software or app to an enterprise level quickly include:

  • Existing libraries like bootstrap to leverage pre-existing but fully editable UI libraries to by-pass building custom style libraries

  • Open-source tools or libraries that internal teams can take and customize to the enterprises needs

What are the recent UI/UX innovations in enterprise software?

The world of UI/UX enterprises is constantly evolving. A few of the recent advancements that have us excited include:

  • Speedy page loads

  • Creating Mobile-first Designs

  • Ability to Login Without Passwords

  • Voice UI

  • Immersive scrolling

  • Usage of Card UI Component

Conclusion

UI enterprise design is an important and challenging part of digital development. Keeping in mind the challenges while focusing on creating intuitive and functional applications and software can help even enterprise-level organizations reach their highest potential.

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