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Apr 1, 2021 | Updated Aug 15, 2023

What You Need to Know About Business-to-Employee User Experience

We answer the question, "What is B2E UX?" and discuss three reasons why adopting easy-to-use technology for your employees will enrich your company.

Think back to a time when you used a program at work that was slow to load, difficult to navigate, and needlessly complex. When you realize that you’ve spent more time figuring out how to use the program than doing your actual job, you are left feeling burnt out and slightly productive at best.

We’ve all been there.

This common office anecdote is why companies — ranging from small startups to large corporations — are prioritizing the business-to-employee user experience, or B2E UX.

What is B2E UX?

Business-to-employee user experience (B2E UX) is a subdomain of user experience (UX) focused on creating or improving the tools and services used by an organization’s employees. It is a counterpart to business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) user experience, but has its own particular strategies and challenges. B2E UX is often overlooked as employees are sometimes required to use specific tools and services regardless of their quality.

To further understand this correlation between B2B, B2C, and B2E UX let’s look at a few definitions:

  • B2B UX (also known as enterprise UX) refers to the tools designed by businesses for businesses to meet the needs of the company, rather than the individual user.
  • B2C UX refers to the tools designed by businesses for consumers to meet the needs of the individual user.
  • B2E UX refers to the tools designed by businesses for employees to meet the needs of the individual user while at work. Employee experience design includes the systems used for managing projects, tracking employee growth, submitting reports, connecting with colleagues, and conducting client meetings.

Instead of viewing the “business” and “consumer” as separate entities (as found in B2B and B2C models), B2E UX combines the “business” and “consumer” to focus on designing products for the consumers who make up the business.

But regardless of the end user — whether a business, consumer, or employee — the pillars of good UX remain the same.

How UX at home affects UX at work

This modern focus on B2E UX is a result of the employees' digital experiences outside of work. As employees access compelling consumer apps or e-commerce sites outside of the office, the bar rises for the tools used in the digital workplace. Now more than ever, employees expect the same level of digital experiences both on and off the clock.

As a result, the digital tools we use at the office look more and more like the digital tools we use outside of the office.

Once just the domain of a company intranet, critical B2E apps today include Slack, Zoom, and G Suite. These applications are known for their sleek interfaces and ease of use. In fact, Slack’s customer growth accelerated during the onset of the pandemic, a time when dependable technology was imperative for companies transitioning to a work-from-home model to manage work and maintain a sense of community.

Better B2E UX supports the employee experience (EX)

Just as B2C UX affects the customer experience, so does B2E UX affect the employee experience. The employee experience is the end-to-end interaction an employee has with their employer. This includes everything from human resource functions, such as the interview process and employee benefits, to the company culture and the technology and tools available to help employees succeed at their jobs.

3 reasons to adopt easy-to-use UX design technology for your employees

1. It keeps employees engaged

Engaged employees are happy employees, and this engagement could lead to higher retention rates. According to “Technology’s Make or Break Role in Employee Engagement,” a study by Harvard Business Review, “77% of survey respondents say good employees will look for a new employer if their current job does not provide the tools, technology, or information they need to do their job well.”

2. It boosts productivity

With reliable tools, employees can spend more time on their actual work and less time navigating a confusing program or unresponsive interface. The purpose of great UX is to support and enrich the user's life. If an employee is quick to understand a program at work, they can work efficiently and thus increase productivity.

3. It lowers costs and saves time

As a result of higher retention, companies can save time and money on training and onboarding. Additionally, working with tools that promote fewer errors, greater efficiency, and a smoother workflow saves time and increases the output of work that will delight your clients.

A case for B2E UX

B2E UX combines the “business” from B2B and “consumer” from B2C to prioritize designing for the consumers who make up the business. Adopting UX designed tools and technology at your company that improve B2E initiatives may result in higher employee engagement, increased productivity, and greater employee satisfaction with the overall employee experience.

Are you interested in improving B2E UX at your company? Get in touch with our experienced team of UX research and design professionals.