User Experience in Regulatory Software

The conversation about systems and solutions for the life sciences industry more often than not focuses on the needs of the enterprise: What infrastructure makes most sense? What configurations do you require? What do the solutions need to enable? But a key consideration needs to be, Is the system simple and efficient for your users?

By Jason Halpern, Product Manager, CSC Life Sciences

This is all the more crucial given the way most global life sciences companies operate today, where the reality for managing documents often leads to people all over the world tackling tasks differently, using different devices, and without a thorough change control process. This lack of control often stems from a cumbersome content management system with heavy workflows that inhibit the casual user. Having an easy to use, accessible interface to the document management system allows users across geographies using different operating systems and browsers to work together and find the information they need in an efficient way. This is exactly what CSC has developed and achieved with the new FirstDoc user interface (UI).

One for All

User experience means different things to different people, but broadly speaking it’s about ease of use, simplifying processes for users, and allowing them to be more productive. Not all users have the same needs. So who are these different users and what matters to each of them?

Many users will be accessing the document management system to search for information for any number of reasons – to do their day-to-day job, to prepare a report, and so on. But that information is only as good as your ability to find it: You can have great documentation, metadata and so on, but if your users don’t know how to search the system and find what they need then all that information might as well not exist.

Pharmacist in front of a cabinetThis is a particular challenge for casual users who may be intimidated by a system. If they find it too hard to search for information they might rely on other people to get that information for them, or worse still just go without that information. A system that allows them to search for, find and save the information they need enables them to be more effective in their job.

Meanwhile, heavy users of the system will likely be more familiar with how it works, but a flexible, intuitive user interface lets them focus on the information they need on a recurring basis, and locate that information easily without spending an excessive amount of time searching for particular files or the right version of a document.

And when it comes to teams, being able to present information to team members clearly so they know what they’ve been assigned allows them to do their job more efficiently. For team leaders, it’s about being able share information with the team in a consistent manner and having a clear picture of what’s taking place.

Getting and Keeping the Best Employees

Finding good employees in life sciences is becoming increasingly difficult, particularly given the need for highly skilled experts to handle ever more challenging regulatory requirements. Having a document management solution with an intuitive, flexible and easily personalised UI like FirstDoc gives life sciences companies flexibility with their hiring strategies by allowing them to bring on individuals that may be regulatory superstars, but may not have worked with specific content management systems. The point is to facilitate the individual’s expertise, not bog them down with legacy systems.

Equally, an interface that can easily be accessed and adapted to with different devices and browsers is important for the modern users who are no longer tethered to their desktops and who seek the agility to work whenever and wherever they require, without being hindered by interface challenges.

A true user experience-driven system enables users to do their jobs easily, focused on the task at hand – and not the vagaries of the system.

Are you attending the annual DIA EuroMeeting in Hamburg, Germany April 6-8? If so, please visit our Booth #P6 to discuss why an easy-to-use interface matters.

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