Today’s post is slightly less technical, and I’m going to look at how you can drive the user adoption of your Power Platform solutions! This is a session I’ve delivered at in person events before, but I thought I’d spread the message further with a blog post 🙂
I’m sure you’re keen to have many users adopting your solutions and applications, but let’s talk a bit more about this first.
One of the most important reasons in my opinion of adopting practices that will drive user adoption of your solutions, is so that users feel they have a solution that they can rely on, which both follows the business process and requirements well because we have carefully architected and designed the solution to do just that, but also then so that users don’t use shadow IT as a fallback which potentially wont follow those business requirements, and processes as well. Using shadow IT in this way might seem more ideal for users if we haven’t produced a solution thats easily adoptable, though it may cause a hit on the outcome of the intended solution.
So, let’s look at a few things we can do to drive the adoption of Power Platform solutions!
Considering end to end UX
This point could probably really cover everything in this post, and well I’m sure every following point could kind of slot under this. It’s important to remember what User Experience (UX) actually is. I generally find there’s a lot of confusion in that UI and UX cross over a little too much.
User Interface or UI, is a very key aspect of User Experience, but these aren’t at all the same thing, and UI is just one aspect of many others that form the UX that we deliver with a solution.
A number of other aspects that fall under UX include a solution being; usable, useful, findable, accessible, and credible. We can’t just rely on UI, as important as it is, to drive an end to end great user experience.
Producing usable solutions
On a more granular level, a key aspect to look at when thinking about driving user adoption and delivering a good user experience is to produce usable solutions. Whilst matching the requirements of the solution for the business problem in question, this could mean ensuring that we don’t over clutter interfaces whether they be visual or not, ensuring that our solutions perform well speed wise, and they have the actions in place that mean they can solve the problem.
This might mean implementing things like automations that remove 10 manual actions and make a solution more usable, whilst ensuring that automation happens quickly and is stable without common errors and bugs.
There are a number of things more we can do to ensure our solutions are usable but these are a few 🙂
Producing useful solutions
This is a key point to keep in mind around ensuring solutions do actually solve the business problem and requirements in question.
Here it’s vital to ensure that against each business problem, and each requirement suggested by the end user and business owner, that the solution does in fact solve that problem.
Not only should we look to solve the problems identified by a business, but from an architectural point of view, its key to look further and analyse business’s current processes and solutions to suggested problems, and suggest where further potential ‘issues’, or used time, could be solved with additional enhancements and features within a solution, eventually contributing to a more useful solution for the end user.
Surfacing solutions sensibly to make them findable
This next point, is something I personally find really interesting, and important when delivering a good end to end user experience, and in turn, looking for a driven user adoption of a solution.
It’s essential to surface developed solutions in a way that users aren’t putting in tedious amounts of effort just to get to your app, or intranet, or chat bot etc.
There’re a number of ways we can surface solutions better that doing something like giving users a link and expecting them to bookmark it, or stick it in a OneNote or something like that! Yikes!
- Surface solutions with a button or link on a SharePoint page
- Pin a tile to a Viva Connections dashboard
- Have your InTune team push a policy update so that Edge users have your solution bookmarked by company default
- Use Power Apps Wrap
Producing accessible solutions
This is such a key point! I hear far too often that accessibility should be something extra when it’s asked for, or that it isn’t really that important and most users won’t benefit.
It’s completely counterproductive to not develop solutions that are usable by anyone. By developing solutions without accessibility in mind from the requirement capturing and design phases, we open our solution up to not being usable by some people… not great!
Want to drive user adoption of your solutions even more? Try opening them up to all of the people that rely on them being accessible! Watch the numbers rise!
6 Practices to adopt to build accessible Power Apps solutions – Low Code Lewis
Producing credible solutions
A key final tip is to ensure that the content being delivered through your solution is inline with the business requirements supplied, and matches the business values and message. This could be as simple as ensuring a GUI matches the branding of a company well, and makes users feel like it has in fact come from their business / company. Giving users something that doesn’t match their understood brand well, might make them a little unsteady about using a solution, or might just not seem quite right.
Imagine if Microsoft deployed a solution to their staff that used Material design for example! It wouldn’t feel right…
I hope this post helped you with a few ways to better the end to end user experience of your solution, and I hope these help you drive the user adoption of your Power Platform and Microsoft 365 solutions! Good luck 🙂