A common scenario with organisations considering an online meeting management product is that they don’t need to buy one because they are already using Sharepoint to provide this service. But using an all-purpose product such as Sharepoint comes at a significant price in terms of productivity and decision making.
Sharepoint is an enterprise document management system. As a Microsoft product, it is integrated with the MS Office suite of products such as Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint etc via Office365.
Sharepoint's everything in one application means lower usability
Its strength is its wide range of applications and features. So, it sounds like Sharepoint would be a good application for managing meetings. But its strength is also its weakness.
By attempting to be all things to all business requirements, Sharepoint has to house a user interface that is both broad, deep and packed with menu options. Whilst Sharepoint has made a lot of improvements in recent years, the end result is still the same; an interface that eventually overwhelms the user and becomes hard to navigate.
With user interface design it’s a case of more is less and less is more. More user interface options means less usability. Less user interface options means more usability. This makes sense. The more simple you make something the easier it is to understand. But the more complex you make something the harder it is to understand.
By Sharepoint trying to be an everything in one application, it sets itself a user interface goal impossible to reach.
Having to navigate through a plethora of menu options, most of which are not relevant to your primary purpose for using the software, creates excessive cognitive load on users and ultimately results in poor usability of lower user satisfaction.
Lower usability means less productivity and undermines decision making
Accepting lower usability and user satisfaction comes at a price.
Lower usability means extra time you have to spend navigating through a system. This inevitably results in lower productivity.
But lower user satisfaction comes at an even higher price. Users are less likely to use the service as much as they would if it had a more usable interface. For users of board portals, ie directors of an organisation, this can mean less collaboration and less engagement on issues. This can undermine the quality of decision making at board level, which creates extra and unnecessary risk for organisations.
Dedicated meeting management applications provide a more usable solution
A better solution is to use a dedicated application for meeting management, whose sole focus is making it easier for people to organise and participate in meetings. This will enable an easier to use interface, resulting in:
• Less time spent organising meetings
• More collaboration between meeting participants
• Greater engagement on issues
All of which leads to better quality decision making and increased productivity.
Sympose is a dedicated online meeting management solution with an easy to use interface. Contact us for a free online demonstration to see how easy it is to use.
Last updated: 7 April 2020.