Internal tools and systems have become increasingly important to the operation of companies in recent years, and more and more companies are building custom solutions to solve their unique problems as they bring products and services to market. Often, internal tools get as much design love as their development team can provide, but with a team focused on engineering over user experience, these tools often end up with a front-end that only a mother could love.
The back seat that experience and interface receives for these tools is unfortunate as they are often the main interface between employees and completing their job tasks on a daily basis. In many cases, the tools are out of date and employees create a complex web of Excel spreadsheets or Google docs to share information and manipulate data and information.
These workflows are inefficient and painful. They reduce happiness. They frustrate users. They stymie progress. They make small children cry and adults recoil in horror. They are abominations of usability.
These tools need the same love and dedication that is given to public facing interfaces. No, a generic admin theme will not cut it. No, it's not just about CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) views behind a password protected area. Those are not effective solutions.
We need to stop leaving these systems to the last hour and consider them paramount and critical. We need to lead from the experience side to improve our coworkers daily lives.
The tools suck, and we're going to make them awesome.