Getting User Experience Right is Top Priority for 2017

January 6, 2017 Mark Wallace

We asked EHS professionals in more than 30 countries around the world to share their views on which tech trend has the potential to have the biggest impact on their EHS programs in 2017. The clear winner? Not IoT or mobile. Not smart sensor integration or industry benchmarking.

Simplifying user experience to increase adoption of software was far ahead of the pack with almost a third of respondents ranking it as most important to them.


Many would expect to see newer technologies such as integrating with IoT devices like wearables and RFID tags or integrating with smart sensors for environmental monitoring at the top of the list.  But this wasn’t the case – the EHS professionals taking the survey clearly indicated that getting the most out of existing tech had the biggest potential to improve their lives over the next year. After user experience came sharing data across EHS departments enterprise-wide and predictive analytics in second and third place, respectively.


Larger companies have data sharing hopes


The results show that in larger companies (50000+ employees) the need to share data across EHS departments enterprise-wide becomes more pronounced, with this taking the top spot for this segment. This isn’t a surprise for us at Medgate. We increasingly see our global enterprise clients working to reduce the number of EHS software applications in use across different business units. These clients want to find a single EHS platform to standardize data collection and make sharing information easier across the organization.


Manufacturing looking forward to predictive


For respondents in manufacturing, predictive analytics rises to second place. Many companies are hoping to use big data to accurately forecast where future incidents may occur in order to implement corrective actions ahead of them. This is particularly the case in manufacturing firms where a shutdown caused by an incident can have huge productivity knock-ons for the business as a whole.


Commenting on the results, Medgate’s Director of Product John Easton, CRSP, said, “User experience is key because it makes the difference between a successful implementation and an expensive white elephant. At Medgate we constantly review existing workflows to improve user experience and reduce the amount of time customers spend completing tasks.


“In recent years we’ve introduced homepage to give users instant access to outstanding tasks, favorite reports, recently viewed items and KPIs. Our swimlane drag and drop workflows are a fantastic visual timesaver with powerful business rules attached in the back end. Smart Note was designed specifically for user experience - to automate clinician note-taking, and mobile workflows help simplify how users enter data in the field.”


Results in full:



Survey Methodology


Medgate conducted the online survey between December 1st and 11th, 2016. 150 EHS professionals from 30 countries and 12 different industry verticals responded.

About the Author

Mark Wallace

Mark Wallace has been President and CEO of Medgate since 2003. Prior to joining Medgate, Mark was President of ADB Systems International Ltd. Before joining ADB, Mark was Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary and a member of the executive management team of AT&T Canada Corp., now known as Allstream. Mark is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and the University of Victoria and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Mark currently serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of St. Francis Xavier University. Mark is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club.

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