‘New Purchasing’ Will Bring New User Interface Requirements and Experiences

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi.

As Spend Matters and Vroozi wrote in their jointly produced research paper Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto:

Article 8: Alternative and even “anti”-interfaces will become more important than clicks and taps.

The best UI will be no UI at all. They will leverage our movements, the location of our devices and our intent – and surrounding data, meta-data and systems information. Beyond this, the most functional UIs will display the bare minimum of information in context, but have the ability to rapidly drill down as needed. In certain cases, new paradigms (live infographics) will replace old approaches to accessing and interacting with information (dashboards).

Harking back to the same adage of “less is more,” the masked complexity in a user interface (UI) represents not just the future of procurement platforms, but the future of all technology.

With all of the modern technology turning the wheels behind the scenes, the front-end UI should be a clean, simple, and elegant presentation.

This “anti”-interface will become the norm because the days of the busy UIs are already obsolete. Today’s cloud solutions make it so you no longer need to remember how to navigate a complex UI because your mobile device is able to take charge for you.

While older UIs require that you remember a series of clicks and taps to navigate a solution, smart devices can take advantage of their modern features and functionality to allow you to work more quickly and efficiently. GPS, Java and other native apps feature ways of discovering what you’re up to, while predictive technology can determine what you intend to do next. For example, GPS is able to locate where you are, allowing you to search for – or allow a solution to suggest – whatever you might be looking for, then present you with the nearest locations for whatever it is you desire.

This is not unlike the scenario that played out in Vroozi’s use-case, Mobile Procurement and the Frequent Business Traveler, which detailed John’s near fish-out-of-water experience on a business trip to New York City when he was informed that he would not be returning home after his meeting, but that he would be rerouted to Atlanta in order to pay some face-time to an upset client.

Upon landing in Atlanta at 5 p.m. on a Wednesday, John – who had no friends or family in the area and had never been to Atlanta before – was faced with a series of tasks that may seem daunting to many of us: he needed to obtain a rental car and book a hotel room, both with the approval of his company.

Thanks to mobile procurement, John handled the situation with ease. The GPS functionality on his phone presented him with a list of hotels based on his own profile, incorporating John’s personal preferences with the proximity to the client he’d be meeting with in the morning. The platform also presented him with a convenient car rental company which, like the hotel, already came pre-approved from his employer.

This was John leveraging the masked complexity and elegant UI of mobile procurement to present him with exactly the information he was looking for – through a minimal number of clicks at taps.

As the industry nears the 20th birthday” of e-procurement, the simplification of UIs and front-end tools will provide a simple, innovative approach for managing your spend at home and on the go.

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