Let’s face facts. Features only improve products when actual customers use them. Too often well-intentioned features create more complexity than value. That’s never more so the case than when those features are introduced with cumbersome design elements, which users need to wade through in order to get where they need to go. After all, users are humans. And there’s only so much design stimuli we can absorb at any one time.
Crisis management app design: functionality vs. simplicity
In considering crisis management software, managers then need to balance product functionality and design simplicity, because their end users, crisis practitioners, will already be mentally taxed during an active crisis. The more ill-conceived features crisis management apps throw out at those users, the harder it’ll be for those practitioners to find the command they need during a crisis. That is if they haven’t already abandoned the app.
Safeguard your team’s mental energy for fighting crisis not fighting their crisis management app, by finding a tool that’s easy to use and keeps features to the essentials. Need help figuring out what you need to get? Think about the following considerations:
Simple isn’t stupid. Simple, paired-down design doesn’t have to come at the price of functionality. Look for a solution that starts simple and grows with your needs. The smart app developer will have thought about this.
It’s about the UX. Always ensure that the crisis management solution is based on the latest in user experience. An important question to ask: is the service optimized for mobile and desktop use? Another: is design consistent between the two platforms? Most of us toggle between mobile and desktop in our work lives; our brains are naturally trained to expect consistency. Introducing major design discrepancies between the two platforms only creates unnecessary dissonance. And when our brains are overstimulated, we’ll be more likely to just abandon the technology. In the crisis context, that could mean teams relying on informal, unsanctioned processes instead. Who wants that?
Just think about it. Your crisis management solution needs to empower your team to get crisis work done in an active crisis, not bog them down in difficult-to-use functionality and overbearing design. And, it’s worth repeating, simple doesn’t mean dumb; simple, yet effective app design only serves to accelerate your user’s learning curve.
To learn more about the importance of simplicity in critical issues and crisis management technology, read our KISS guide to understanding the effects of stress in crisis management.