I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.
— Blaise Pascal
Consider this: There were 1.8 zettabytes of digital data created worldwide in 2011, IDC reports¹, growing to 7.9 zettabytes by 2015. To get a sense of the scale here, it would take 36,000 years to watch a single zettabyte of high-definition video. With digital data growing at staggering rates, how can we process all this information in a way that adds more signal and less noise to our lives?
The answer is “simple.”
Simple filters the noise so the essential can shine through. But as mathematician and inventor Blaise Pascal so insightfully articulated more than 350 years ago, simple is hard.
Mobile platforms demand that software developers make things simple. Smartphones and tablets necessitate less through their form-factor constraints, and mobile applications that aren’t responsive and easy to use are quickly relegated to the dead pool, given the massive number of alternatives. When we are on the go, we don’t have time for the “long letter.”
At Workday, we make our mobile solutions simple in several ways. First, we do not take our desktop applications and just re-package them for a smartphone or tablet. We believe mobile applications must be redesigned and re-imagined. Our Workday for iPhone® landing page in Workday 17 contains just a few, optimally positioned thumb-sized tiles that provide users with tasks literally at their fingertips.
Next, we continually strive to make sure users are receiving the right signals through the noise. Our mobile Workfeed in Workday 17 filters down complex enterprise data into a familiar activity stream of condensed information, similar to how users consume information within their social networks.
A third way is through our data visualizations, which distill large amounts of information quickly for our users. An example of this innovation we worked hard to deliver in Workday 17 is the employee timeline for tablets. This visualization captures all of the critical data about an employee and pulls it into an easy-to-consume timeline. What’s particularly compelling is that the employee timeline is a mobile-first innovation at Workday. We started with the “short letter” for the tablet, and will adapt the concept to other form factors over time.
In a world of rapid expansion—more requirements, transactions, processes, people, training, and information–we must take the time to make it simple.
¹IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, June 2011.