In the last couple of weeks I have been to a few HR-related conferences including the Social Workplace conference, HR Tech Europe and the Employer Branding Experience plus a Jobsite Fresh Thinking event.

Technology was the backdrop for these events and in all of the discussions I heard or took part in two words kept bubbling up and they were user experience.

In my experience user experience – I quite like this definition – has never been high on the agenda when building corporate systems and you can see evidence in pretty much all user interfaces on HR and L&D systems – I know that’s a sweeping statement but decent UX is a minority sport I’d argue.

Indeed I will never forget a training session on how to use an Oracle finance system when delegates, on showing their dislike for the interface, were told to that that was how the system worked and that was how it was going to be.

It seemed the only people who had user tested the system were in finance. They probably had an affinity with more complex interfaces for financial systems. But what about the other 95% of us who had to use it?

I’m sure we all have bad memories of having to find, access and use HR systems which it is so heartening to hear speakers at hr conferences put ux on the agenda.

The future for HR, L&D, recruitment – indeed all the people (user) centred parts of a business – is technology enabled and across different devices and channels. Designing and building tools, systems and services that put the user centre stage will be key to adoption and engagement.

On a personal note, it feels good to see these concepts being talked about more. My role at XperHR was focused on user experience and content but I was the only person at RBI who had that remit – and that was at a media company!

L&D, HR, recruitment, internal comms etc need to start learning about user experience so they can start to have meaningful and challenging conversations with designers and developers to ensure tools are built that will actually get used.