As promised, I wanted to follow up to my post https://jmikewatson.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/sharepoint-rumors-of-my-demise-have-been-greatly-exaggerated/ about what will kill SharePoint, but then I noticed this blog post http://www.sharepointstories.com/2011/08/is-sharepoint-too.html which seemed to parallel my own thoughts. Here’s what I wrote about UX….
SharePoint is ripe for disruption. It’s a product that while ticks most boxes does so in kind of an ugly way. As an entrepreneur I’ve learned that the new web is less about substance and a lot more about flash. A lot of that flash is based on user experience. Some companies get it. Dropbox, a glorified file backup service, is hugely successful. Why? Because they get user experience. Apple for example, doesn’t always build the most capable devices, but they have mastered the UX on the iPhone then the iPad and in doing so have even surpassed Microsoft in market cap. SharePoint’s UX is well, lacking. Talk to any SharePoint hater and they all cite how difficult it is to use. As a 10 year SharePoint veteran (has it been that long?) even I struggle sometimes to do seemingly simple tasks.
Is it me or is there a theme developing?
1. SharePoint introduced.
2. We become champions.
3. Patiently await more and better features
4. UX remains the same
5. iPhone comes out.
6. We start using iPhone (then iPad)
7. Wow, this is hot. Why can’t SharePoint act like this?
While a large portion of my own livelihood comes from shoring up Microsoft’s UX I think too much of a bad thing is ultimately bad for business. This would be my guidance if I were in charge.
1. Product managers – No one in the product group listens to you. Why?
2. Dev team Program Managers – How about leaving the safety of the nest and get out and do what those product managers were supposed to do in the 1st place? Perhaps, working 10-15 years in the same place is bad for the product, no? Perhaps, using the product and even having to implement it for customers might change your perspective a bit.
3. Hire a Steve Jobs type (UX guy with some balls) and put him in charge of the product team. Nothing gets out until it’s perfect.