Not just function but also design in GRC

A few weeks ago I was at a meeting with a large financial services provider who has been using RSA Archer for a number of years. We were discussing their GRC program and engagement with the wider (non-GRC) business. Business users just weren’t using it. It reminded me of a Daniel H Pink’s ‘A Whole New Mind’ who states his first rule (he calls it a ‘sense’ but you say potato…)

“Not just function but also DESIGN. It’s no longer sufficient to create a product, service, an experience, or a lifestyle that’s merely functional. “

Trying to better engage their first line business in risk and control is not just a case of pointing them to a URL with the functionality. Making the initial landing page modern and interesting. The interface must have no barriers to use. Training should be part of the tool not a pre-requisite. You must fight for each and every additional click the user has to perform. The customer came up with a great quote

“I want the interface to be as approachable as an ATM machine, everyone instinctively knows how to use an ATM machine.”

RSA Archer eGRC is a marvelous piece of software which I’ve worked with for a number of years now. The majority of implementations I have seen have focused so heavily on the functionality (ensuring the correct workflows and permissions) that design and ‘sex appeal’ (if that’s possible in software) gets largely forgotten. Modern HTML/JavaScript flourishes such as screen transitions or hover over behaviors make an interface seem so much more engaging than a flat list of hyperlinks, and take relatively little effort to achieve.

With that in mind I headed off to the internet found some libraries and images, then implemented a menu, click the image below to see an example of the menu implemented. This is then implemented into a dashboard iView so the users immediately see a pretty interactive menu. Archer Bubble MenuWhile to a programmer at least it’s trivial user experience tweak, there is a simple enjoyment of hovering over the bubbles and watching them expand and contract in the same way that bubble wrap is addictively poppable. Some may scoff at the time wasted in such trivial things but these flourishes make ‘sexy software’. It’s an important reminder of the imbalance that exists between design and function in the implementation of GRC tools.

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