As someone who considers himself more of a business user and analyst than a developer or technologist — despite some close revenge of the nerd personal run-ins from time-to-time — I’ll confess that I sometimes get more excited than I should about how an application feels vs. all the features and the underlying architecture under the surface.
But in my now eleventh year of looking at Spend Management technology and user adoption, I’ve got to say that the overall user experience a solution delivers — as measured by both savings and overall adoption — relative to its absolute functional capabilities, seems to matter most in the majority of circumstances. Now, granted there are exceptions to this (especially in such areas as spend analysis, optimization, the non-user side of P2P, etc.). But in general, frontline applications that beg to be used and require limited or no training are those most likely to deliver the best returns. For this reason, when applications with somewhat challenging interfaces for the non-technically inclined succeed, it’s an even greater indication of the underlying strength and value of the overall tool..