In this article, we would like to highlight the importance of optimizing the user experience of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations with personalization capabilities that are available for F&O applications. The story is based on true events that happened a couple of years ago.
Our team paid an online visit to the recently acquired customer that was complaining about usability issues within Dynamics 365. Lots of users were frustrated and kept complaining about the experience they had, although the one we remembered appeared to be a purchasing agent, who spent the majority of his day creating non-inventory purchase orders. “how could any designer think this is a good experience?” – he said.
We then asked him to share his screen and walk through the creation of a typical purchase order. Quickly was noticed that he was not working with an optimized (or personalized) experience. Instead, he was using the out-of-the-box purchase order form that was shipped by Microsoft for creating inventory-based purchase orders.
We watched as he tabbed over many unnecessary columns to complete the line on the purchase order. We spent the next hour with him going through the PO form to hide all the fields and actions he did not use to create a non-inventory purchase order. IT staff observed as we did this and they were concerned by the amount of stuff that we hid.
Once we were done, we estimated that we hid about 80% of the fields and actions on the form which eventually increased the agent’s satisfaction rate through a new personalized experience. His frustration quickly turned to IT staff wondering why they had not helped him do this in the past.
The IT staff was concerned since there were issues with personalization, breaking on updates and there was no capability to publish these to others. That ignited a conversation about whether “is personalization a safe thing to do?” and whether should they roll this out to all of the members.
Despite pros and cons, the purchasing agent said “hey listen guys. I don’t care what you decide on a course of action because it is beneficial to me. I am willing to make these personalizations after each update to not only eventually save my time but also improve workflow experience overall”.
It was very interesting to see that the most frustrated user in that company turned into a raving fan after we personalized his screen. We learned that day, the power of personalization, and how less is truly more.
There are many different roles within organizations like accountants, purchasing agents, shipping clerks, auditors, production planners, and even somebody called the water spider. Although many users say their experience is overwhelming or complex, it is said they use less than 50% of the user interface that they see and it takes too many steps to do their work.
Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations was designed to show all the content by default. The user experience should be tailored to each user through role-based security with configuration keys and personalization.
Either way, the IT staff was right in being cautious. Without guidance, personalization may do more harm than good. Since we already had enough expertise, everything worked and is working flawlessly when it comes to personalization.
Nevertheless, personalization was not stable at that time, and doing one without a reliable MS partner may cause issues instead of improvements. Now, things are getting better. Nevertheless, always make sure you consult with your partner before personalizing your experience.