Many factors influence software buying decisions. You hear of organisations buying a particular product for the sake of one feature which it considers important. People buy software after long and detailed comparison or on the strength of what someone said in the pub. They buy because everyone else is, or because they want to be different. They buy because they like the person doing the selling, or because they didn’t take to the rival demonstrator. They buy because they understand the technology or because they don’t want to have to understand it.
Two factors are always relevant to a software purchasing decision. What does it look like? And what does it cost? These factors may influence different constituencies – the person who sits looking at the interface all day may have a different view from the one who signs the purchase order, but the one doing the authorisation will be influenced if the user interface will increase productivity and reduce errors.
Relativity has addressed both these things recently, with the launch of a new pricing model on top of its recent publicity for its new Aero UI. Both are covered in this article by Relativity’s chief product officer, Chris Brown. The context is both what Chris Brown calls “empowerment” (a theme at last year’s Relativity Fest), and the more mundane-sounding (but important) ambition to “make it easier for everyone to use” RelativityOne.
He links to the announcement of the RelativityOne pay-as-you-go pricing model. That offers two broad options – to pay for RelativityOne month to month with no upfront investment, and a “Flex Commit” option with a 1-year or 3-year subscription. The latter has a wider range of functions and benefits, and allows saving of up to 25%.
There are obvious parallels here with familiar consumer options like vehicle and telephone rental – the ability to walk away is more valuable in certain circumstances than the lower price which comes with commitment. It makes a lot of sense in litigation or investigations when you need to get going now but don’t know whether your project will be over in days or will last for years. Other attractions include preventative defence, a designated team, and help with data migration.
The new Aero UI is more than just a prettier face. It began, Chris Brown says, with “improving time-to-value by measuring the human effort (e.g. clicks, scrolls, linear mouse feet, and time) required to complete numerous critical workflows and tasks”. We all use software (I mean everyday office tools) with steps and stages which seem unnecessary; sometimes one can dimly discern some logic, especially for new or occasional users, behind that intermediate step, but it often seems that the developer has never revisited the workflow and we just put up with it.
The nature of eDiscovery is that the same or similar actions may be performed hundreds or thousands of times a day, and one otiose step can add significant costs to a project, as well as inducing tiredness and irritation in the user. Relativity took as its starting point the identification of steps like that. It added elements of pure performance – it’s no good eliminating stages if the architecture can’t keep up with the increased pace – and improved navigation. The purely aesthetic improvements are the icing on the cake.
I interviewed several RelativityOne users at Relativity Fest in Chicago, and asked them (among other things) what excited them most about the then-known product announcements. The new UI came up every time.
Relativity summarised its recent updates in this press release issued before Legalweek.