Self-service Portals will save you time so that you can have more “me” time.
A self-service portal is a website that empowers users—customers, employees, partners, contractors, or suppliers—to electronically transact with your business, completing simple to complex tasks using a consistent interface.Fast and efficient self-service access is paramount to showcase your company’s products and services while providing users with a relevant and error-free experience.
A self-service portal should be relevant to your company and the people who will be using the portal. For instance, a portal that enables your remote team to engage and collaborate will save time and contribute to a cohesive experience for all team members.
Imagine your company has sales people located throughout the country. Rather than wasting time and money flying them to head office for regular meetings, team members can collaborate with instant messaging or video and web conferencing via the company’s self-service portal. Employees can share and update documents without the need to e-mail attachments, share and update calendar events, generate sales opportunities, and create and disseminate reports, all without needing to download and install specialised software.
The catch-phrase of cloud computing is “access anywhere, anytime, from any device.” To that end, users do not want to waste time wading through an inordinate amount of text or irrelevant options to complete a task—the fewer steps from A to B, the happier and more efficient your users will be. A streamlined self-service portal will present only those products and services relevant to users, with the most frequently used prominently positioned for easy access. When designing a self-service portal, think crisp, clean, and simple: an inefficient portal will reduce the likelihood of user adoption.
Your users shouldn’t need a PhD in Computer Engineering to navigate your online portal. A successful online experience intuitively leads users through a serious of simple steps to achieve a goal. Familiar design conventions will aid users in navigating your portal.
- Icons and buttons on a self-service portal suggest an action. If something looks like a button, then it should act as a button.
- Blue underlined text is standard to depict a hyperlink that will take the user elsewhere. Do not make text blue or underlined unless it is a hyperlink.
- Navigational aids should be prominent and consistent as users move around the portal.
Your self-service portal may be relevant, and it might intuitively guide your users to achieve their goals, but it must also encourage people to engage.
What makes an engaging interface?
Colour scheme – the colour scheme should reflect your company’s products and services. The colours should work together rather than compete against each other. For example, if your self-service portal enables customers to select a relaxing day spa treatment, then utilising bright orange, hot pink, and electric blue colours may not be appropriate.
Consistency – Do not underestimate the power of consistency. Consistency in font, colour, language, and position of navigational aids throughout the self-service experience will enable users to develop and rely on patterns that will improve their experience by decreasing the time taken to complete a task.
Layout – An effective layout draws attention to what is most important. Contrasting element size, colour, and placement should reduce complexity and indicate where the user’s attention should be focused.
Self-service portal use-cases are limited only by your imagination. With their grid of geo-dispersed cloud service centres hosting operationally efficient, next-generation technologies, Digital Sense empowers our customers by delivering a positive cloud services experience through their relevant, intuitive, efficient, and engaging self-service access portal.
Bookmark this page so you don’t miss the next chapter in Cloud Attributes where we explore how a scalable cloud environment can save time and improve productivity, or Contact Us at Digital Sense to discuss how moving to a cloud can not only save you money but can save you time so you can have more “ME” time.
Interested in Putting Your Business Up in the Clouds?
Learn what catalogue of services or service models offered by Cloud Service Providers that organisations may choose from to suit their needs, as well as, the benefits of utilising cloud computing technology in your business. Find out more in our article: Business Up In The Clouds?