3 minute read

Remember back in the 90s when there were “enterprise developers” and normal “developers”? No, wait, we still have that silo today. With constantly evolving “enterprise” needs we need to bring the agile, reward mentality into the enterprise.


It’s time to blur the lines between enterprise and consumer tools. We must extend the same expectation of instant satisfaction to enterprise technology, and think of our users as individual consumers, not institutions.

At our company, we’ve issued a “joy in 15 seconds” challenge to our development team: Our product must provide users with joy in the first 15 seconds of use. This may seem difficult, but between the “quick fix” culture and widespread use of the freemium model, enterprise technology companies don’t have days, hours, or even minutes to prove they’re the best on the market — they have seconds.

The “joy in 15 seconds” rule requires a change in the design of enterprise technology. Here’s how to pull it off:

The 15 second count-down starts as soon as the user clicks “install now.” A slow boot up or launch can dramatically decrease a user’s overall satisfaction, so it’s crucial to keep this part of the user experience as short as possible.

When the Macintosh operating system was taking too long to boot up, Steve Jobs once asked engineer Larry Kenyon, “If it could save a person’s life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time?”

When it comes to Web applications, a progressive user interface is the answer. Rather than waiting for a full webpage to load as was the way during the dial-up age, a progressive interface gives users the opportunity to view and interact with certain content while other items are still loading.

There are two options for this approach. The first is to load some items while utilizing a symbol to alert users to the fact that more is still coming; Google Finance, for example, allows users to interact with a page even while larger items such as charts are still loading.

The second option is to show information from the last time the user logged on while the newer data is loading, a trick Facebook’s Newsfeed takes advantage of. Users are busy, so they’ll immensely appreciate — and even find joy in — a fast product start-up experience.


Any way that an enterprise company can integrate its product into an individual’s pre-existing daily routine gives a product a higher chance at successful adoption, and introducing features in the right context can change the entire user experience from the start.

The important piece is to think about where users already are and what they are already doing, then work to improve upon those tasks without making them more complex in the process.

Without providing a quick, easily visible improvement in an individual’s workday, users have little to no incentive to choose your product. In fact, for users to adopt a new solution, research shows it must provide 10x improvement over an existing situation.

How can you connect with your users and provide an immediate, visible benefit within 15 seconds? Leave your own tips in the comments below.

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