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Signs of Shelfware: The Three Cs of a Bad User Interface


Alice Alfano

December 14, 2020

“The additional steps and buttons they force you to push are frequently onerous, and it falls significantly short of intuitive.”  

- Shelfware Client

Today we continue our series on Contract Management Shelfware and turn our attention to the topic of tricky user interfaces and how legacy contract management vendors often fall short.

Clunky, complex, and confusing: the three Cs of a bad user interface (and the motivational poster for CLM shelfware). According to an experiment done by Microsoft, complaints about cluttered pages and unnecessary steps are not a laughing matter. By just adding a few drop-down menus instead of a blank form, they projected a company could save more than $15,000 a year in regained productivity.

A streamlined user experience is one of the keys to efficiency when using a CLM solution. But many CLM user interfaces are cluttered and clunky. Not only that, but many are built with disregard for the average user. If an average person is going to be using the CLM, the user experience shouldn’t be built exclusively for people with a computer science degree. Spending time out of your day to try and find the search bar or pull up a contract is time wasted. And users who see something as inefficient or not worth their time tend to abandon the software-turned-shelfware altogether and do their own thing. This means that your contracts might be rogue and floating around in someone’s hard drive just waiting to cause legal trouble.

A modern CLM system should be easy to use, and not just cause frustration like shelfware. That’s why Malbek's solution was built on customer-centric principles. Searches in your contract repository should as easy as searching on Google or filtering products in Amazon: simple, intuitive, and effortless. We don’t include unnecessary steps because, just as the Microsoft experiment concluded, we know seconds spent hunting for something add up and cost you and your team. A modern CLM solution should be able to hit the ground running and be a delight for the customer to use.

To read the full eBook on the pain of CLM Shelfware, download it here.

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