A software product can offer a wide range and depth of features and functionality but if it’s difficult to use or not intuitive to the end user then all of those features and functionality is more or less worthless. In this blog, I’m going to discuss the user interface choices provided in the UA Business Cloud and how various user communities can have a user interface relevant to how they will interact with the product. Also because of ubiquitous nature of products like Facebook, Twitter and other social media products, today’s user interface has to consider all of the potential interactions it might have with these products. This is especially true in an ERP centric product like the UA Business Cloud where Customers, Employees and even the Products a company sells can all have social media implications. Finally, one the benefits of any ERP product should be the metrics one can get to assist in monitoring the health of their business.
Like most web based applications the UA Business Cloud uses the concept of a style sheet to determine how it renders on the user’s device or browser of choice. In fact, the core functionality behind the UA Business Cloud has no user interface at all but rather it has a set of meta-data the style sheet uses to render the user interface. Although this makes for a lot of complexity behind the scenes it provides the utmost freedom for user interface options for everything from the desktop browser to the hand held device.
Out of the box, the UA Business Cloud uses the latest Microsoft user interface style we refer to as Tiles.
Each Tile can lead to set of related functions or it can be a Tile related to specific function. Below is a screen shot of the Account’s Receivable page for a company called Preferred Services Inc.
On the left hand side are some metrics that may be useful for the Account’s Receivable user. Top Customers, Aged Receivable balance, Billing trends are all examples of metrics that are available.
The larger tiles represent what would typically be the most commonly used functions but don’t worry if these aren’t your most commonly used functions as this is all configurable.
If we click on the Customers Tile a listing of Customers is displayed.
From here the user can sort the customer listing or search for the specific customer they want to look up. Or they can click ‘New’ and enter a new customer. Click on ‘ABC Rentals’ and the details of the Customer will be displayed.
Note that not only is the relevant customer information made available but links to Google+, Pinterest and other social media that relate to this customer are available. In addition, a big part of ERP is managing transactions, on the right hand side the user can click ‘Related Information’ and will have immediate access to all transactions that relate to this Customer.
All Service Orders, Sales Quotes, Sales Activities, etc are all but a few clicks away.
Of course not all users in the company will have access to these accounting functions. In fact, if you have users that require a tablet the user interface can be adjusted accordingly. Below is an example of a hair salon providing the Stylist the ability to interact with the UA Business Cloud using an iPad with features and functions that have been developed using the VDS (see previous blogs).
A user interface design can be somewhat subjective and in today’s interconnected world all Cloud applications need to have the flexibility to address the user interface needs of a wide variety of user communities. The UA Business Cloud has these concepts built in so that as user interface needs change your UA Business Cloud solution can be easily adapted and configured to meet these needs. Also where there are users that don’t have access to desktop computers or laptops that want to participate in the ERP processes a user interface that meets the requirements of their devices of choice can easily been put in place.
That is a wrap! Do you have any questions? If so, be sure to ask below!