For too long, professionals in the manufacturing industry have had to cope with software applications that are designed more for function than usability despite the fact that it is people who are the ones using these solutions in their everyday work lives. From the shop floor and production, to packaging and distribution, the easier and more accessible the solution, the more likely business benefits will accrue. This is particularly relevant for manufacturing businesses in highly regulated industries where mistakes can result in huge fines and brand damage.
At last, the development of engaging user interfaces (UIs) commonplace in consumer applications is coming to manufacturing with the development of a new generation of intuitive UIdesigned software applications, from shop floor through to packaging and labelling. Gurdip Singh, CEO at Kallik, argues that prioritising user experience (UX) and the use of intuitive software applications will be crucial in highly regulated manufacturing industries to ensure compliance with the ever growing rules and regulations, all the way through to the label.
Software companies have severely underestimated the needs of label and artwork professionals for sophisticated ways to use solutions, particularly in regulated industries where mistakes can mean fines and damaging recalls. We have all become accustomed to high quality UX in our everyday lives, with intuitive and engaging UI enabling consumers to perform tasks from booking a car service to high-level transactions such as autonomous online banking. This expectation has now reached the manufacturing industry, where label and artwork professionals need the same level of ease of use and convenience from their industrial software as their personal applications.
The Label has the Power to Make or Break a Business
UX is no small matter. The IEEE reports three of the main reasons for software failure are directly related to UX. The usability of an industrial software application that manufacturing and labelling and artwork professionals have to use every day to do their jobs, has a deep impact that stretches across entire operations from design and production through to distribution and can even influence overall business performance.
First and foremost, poor UX has a significant impact on productivity. If software applications are too complex and are difficult to navigate, this will significantly slow down operations. The lack of intuitive design can even heighten the risk of errors, an issue that can be detrimental in highly regulated industries. With far greater legal, financial and safety implications than most other industries, even the smallest error could result in costly delays to market or damaging product recalls, which could lead to medical device manufacturers, for example, seeing a 10% drop in share price or food and beverage manufacturers seeing up to 55% of customers leave their brand, even if only temporarily.