Written by Riccardo Lorenzi
Learning a new software
Learning a new software might turn into a real torture, for new hires and seniors alike, especially when the software is an entirely new tool for them.
Software presents common challenges to its users, mostly related to misconceptions and a poor design, which is not always very considerate of the human aspect behind it.
A poor UX design makes users frustrated and unproductive. Digital tools were conceived to make our lives easier, but if users get frustrated, we’re actually being counter-productive.
So let’s analyze the common problems faced by end users. They basically come from 3 different areas.
Becoming proficient at a software is by itself a challenging mission; you need to devote a lot of time to achieve this. Let alone when you need to go through different processes.
This happens especially with the new hires, as they typically have to master a handful of software, not only one. This might cause confusion and trouble, as recalling each process requires time and tutoring.
Software architecture / layout
Each software has its own layout: it’s the layout that distinguishes a software from its competitors’. If you are approaching a software similar to another one you used in the past, this may turn out to be totally confusing. For example: if you are used to Photoshop, using Gimp may be really frustrating, as they have pretty much the same icons but for completely different functions. Even the software wording, sometimes, is confusing: they may use similar words to mean a variety of different processes.
All of this slows down the learning process, and that may be really frustrating because you have to reset all your memories about the processes you knew, the user interface you were used to and then change them.
Looking for help
When you need to go through a process you don’t remember, you have several options of how to do so: review the training materials you were given, ask a colleague for help, check the software manual, contact your company’s support department.
Yes, these resources might really help you, but they are also frustrating: you need to stop what you were doing to find the information you need, and you need to go from the software to another environment to find this help. Switching from an environment to another one is time-consuming and not really very pleasant.
And even when you find the resources you need, they are often not optimal. To mention just one example, the documentation from software’s portal is often outdated and saturated, especially when the software is old. Instead of helping the users, the documentation might bring them into a deep dive of useless instructions, wasting their valuable time.
All things considered, there is one bottom line to this article. There are many difficulties faced by the users when onboarding new software, especially when these users are new hires. Because on top of all the difficulties faced to adapt to a new company, colleagues and environment, also learning the job itself and getting acquainted with its digital resources are great challenges which need to be considered and handled.
Let’s be mindful of the users! Check our article on how a thoughtful onboarding can help companies and employees.
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