February 20, 2023 | 3 min read

In what ways does Enterprise UX pose distinctive challenges?

Gopakumar TV

Director – UX & Creatives


The world of enterprise UX is a vast and complex landscape, full of unique challenges that UX professionals must navigate. While consumer-focused websites and mobile applications may receive more attention, enterprise software is just as critical to keeping our daily lives running smoothly. So why does it often get overlooked? Perhaps it's because the terrain is tough to traverse, with UX designers and researchers facing steep learning curves, legal barriers, and other obstacles.

Specialized and Complex

Enterprise software is no walk in the park. These applications can be massive, and used by experts for several hours a day to get critical work done. This means UX designers and researchers have their work cut out for them, as they try to create intuitive and user-friendly interfaces. It's like trying to tame a wild beast - you must be brave and skillful.

The User and the Customer are Rarely the Same People

The people who buy enterprise software are not necessarily the ones who use it. Conducting UX research in this context can be incredibly challenging, as designers must navigate legal barriers, salespeople, and other obstacles. But with the right approach, it's possible to gain valuable insights into the needs and preferences of enterprise users.

Different Contexts and Needs

The design of enterprise software must take into account the unique needs and contexts of the users. Unlike consumer-facing applications, which assume that users will be popping in and out of the application, enterprise solutions must be designed for deeper engagement and longer time commitments. Hiding features under the guise of simplification can be detrimental to product mastery, especially for users who spend 20-40 hours per week using enterprise applications. In the enterprise space, releasing a minimum viable product (MVP) is rarely feasible, as there are specific functionality requirements that are non-negotiable for these users.

The High Cost of Bad UX

In the world of enterprise software, bad experiences can be especially harmful, as there is less competition and a higher barrier to entry. With legacy solutions often still in use, vendors risk cannibalizing the success of their own products when salespeople show customers newer products with better experiences. As a result, sales departments may be disincentivized to advocate for a better, more modern product experience, out of fear that it might harm sales for the old product they must keep afloat.

A Call to Action

Designing enterprise solutions is not for the faint of heart. But with the right tools and strategies, it's possible to create interfaces that are both intuitive and user-friendly. By getting outside the organization to access enterprise workers, maximizing learnings where user-research opportunities are scarce, selling UX up the chain, championing user experience on engineering-centric teams, and addressing offline workflows in unexpected environments and contexts, UX professionals can make a real impact on the world of enterprise software. So, let's explore this wild frontier together and see what we can discover.


The world of enterprise UX is full of challenges, but it's also full of opportunities. By sharing our knowledge and experiences, we can help each other navigate this complex terrain and create solutions that make a real difference in the lives of users. So, let's roll up our sleeves, put on our boots, and embark on a journey of discovery. The possibilities are endless!

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