User experience: a mandatory requirement for your business

Designing solutions with the user experience in mind is today an ingredient for the success of any business.  Companies have to focus on the needs and tastes of users and be realised that the development of the solution is a continuous process, which must take advantage of low-code automation platforms, agile methodologies and applications proven in the market.

In 2007, after a long wait and much speculation, the first iPhone hit the market and turned out to be a driver of the smartphone segment. I remember this because, until then, dealing with a mobile phone and its features required some technical knowledge, above the average user skills. Who remembers needing WAP to connect to the Internet?

What happened with the introduction of that device was a total paradigm shift in giving power to the user. Everything was developed so that the user felt like he was empowered and without fear of spoiling the equipment.

The same must be said in organizations both in applications intended for non-technological users and in applications made available to end consumers. This means the End-of-life for applications developed based on processes, and without thinking about the people who will use them.

Let's consider some public administration websites. Some are still very much based on the execution of processes or technologies ignoring sometimes that, on the other side of the interface, are common people, who, in general, do little or nothing understand the jargon of public administration. These citizens need to regularly turn to accountant friends or the service helpline to be able to find the necessary information or perform a debut action. Citizens are also users. It is certain that the picture has been improving, but there is still a long way to go. And in companies too.

In this article learn what the user experience is, what are the main advantages of business management focused on people. Whether they're employees, customers, suppliers, they're all users.

What is User eXperience (UX)?

UX is at the bottom of how people interact with a product or service. For example, when we want to start the car we interact with the ignition key. The design of the key, including color, logos, ergonomics, material can have an impact on how we feel about this interaction.

The same is true in the digital world, where UX concerns to everything that affects the user's interaction with the digital product. 

Before the iPhone, the concept was born in 1990, by the hand of Don Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group. 'The user experience covers all aspects of end-user interaction with the organization, its services and products'. Some features of the user experience:

  • It involves what users think and feel, after all The Humans are both rational and emotional;
  • It depends on the context in which the product is used: what role the product will play in the lives of users;
  • The user experience may change over time. Users may start by liking it, but suddenly abandon the product.

What is UX design?

UX and design are virtually inseparable. This does not mean that it is the designers who create the user experiences, because users have the last word. UX Design must rather create the ideal conditions for users to have a positive experience.

In both the digital and physical world, UX Design is the process of creating practical, usable, desirable, accessible and credible products. Also, when a user has a problem with the product they should be able to find a solution to resolve it.

It is important to emphasize that the UX design of a product is never finished. This evolves as users respond to reactions. Back to the iPhone case. Prior to launch, Nokia was a market leader. With the iPhone, customers' expectations of interaction with mobile phones have changed substantially. Nokia couldn't keep up and Steve Jobs' smartphone quickly climbed to the top.

Why should we care about UX?

Currently, the user experience cannot be ignored. UX is critical in keeping your customer base and employees satisfied. The absence of a good UX can affect a company's reputation and impacts revenue swells due to customers' switching to competition. A good UX is essential to the success of a product. The business and UX Designers are an integral part of this process. By placing the needs of the user at the center of the design, understanding and exceeding expectations it is possible to conquer the coertion of customers.

Companies that bet on UX design are more likely to succeed

On average, every dollar invested in UX has a return of $100.

8 Tips to improve the user experience

1.      Have a multidisciplinary and dedicated team

The best UX programs result from the work of a multidisciplinary team. Depending on the goal to achieve companies should include marketing, sales, operations, product departments in addition to business management and support functions, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group. The technology department should not lead the process, but should also not be set aside throughout the development.

Agile methodologies, including DevOps, should be used. The CIO plays a key role in getting the machine up and running, but teams have to do their part.

2.      Engaging users in development

Especially when using agile methodologies, any UX development program needs regular user feedback to create the right experiences, to understand what is really necessary to do, how to adjust development throughout the project.

Taking advantage of agile, different contributors should take advantage of the daily meetings of the teams to give their contribution. You can also use other means such as observing users in full use of tools to identify difficulties and see where to improve.

There should be no intermediaries in the passage of information, if the idea may be lost throughout the process.

3.      Adapt applications with a consistent UX to the infrastructure

Companies have already invested in their infrastructure that cannot be thrown away. Therefore, the interfaces, functions and services created for the users must be integrated with the BackOffice system, with the data and applications available in the company, whether one or 30 applications, the UX should be consistent.

A beautiful application is of little use if the user has difficulty using it. If you don't give access to data that can intensify your potential; whether you need multiple access controls to something that users once easily found on systems; or that requires constant consultation of other applications to confirm and , who knows, re-enter information that is already in the company's databases. 

4.      Innovate in digital, without forgetting the physical

User experiences should remain hybrid. It is true that even if you create applications to automate work, there will always be times when face-to-face relationships prevail or times when the system may be offline. The business has to go on. To this end, new work environments require the implementation of technologies that allow organizations to work in a mix of coherent digital and physical environment.

The pandemic eventually accelerated the digital transition process that was rampant in general, until we were forced to stay home two years ago.

5.      Gather skills

The multidisciplinary team must be composed of people with various profiles. A code expert may not be the best at building user interfaces. UX design is a skill that not everyone has, no matter how much training they have.

For everything to work properly, the multidisciplinary team must master the various strands of UX. If there are no such profiles in the company, you can bet on the training of the resources you already have and try to adjust your mindset or hire new employees or even specialized consultants who gather all this knowledge.

6.      Use the right metrics to evaluate teams

Productivity metrics should be adapted. The number of lines of code produced is no longer the most relevant. The important thing is to understand the extent to which the UX program meets the objectives of the business. The questions to be put to the teams are related to the improvement of the user experience (or consumer).

7.      Take advantage of all Agile principles

The 15th State of  Agile Report, by Digita l.ai, dated July 2021, reveals that more than 90% of respondents say they use agile methodologies, tools and processes in their companies, most of them cross-cutting and not just applied to IT teams.  

It is important to pay attention to the occasional contact and user feedback so that the program remains constantly improved. Feedback is critical in the course of the project and not just when the solution is complete, something that virtually does not happen.

8.      Use of specialised external teams

For everything to go well in developing your user experience strategy, there's nothing like turning to experts who help you create these strategies on a daily basis.

This is the case of UnikSystem with the low code BPM automation platform that allows you to build applications from the first draft to users or like the employee portal, created specifically for human resources departments.

Use Case

UnikSystem's HRM Employee Portal  is one of the leading Human Resources solutions in Portugal, according to the BestStartup.eu. The portal is built with the Unik  low-code BPM platform (in Capterra) for hyper-automation.

How can Uniksystem contribute to a better user experience?

Uniksystem has a unique portal for all the needs of Human Resources, one of the groups of users that companies can not neglect.  Starting when the new employee arrives at the company, the portal is designed to allow simple use, integrating the needs of daily operations with individual progress.

By simplifying the moment of onboarding, the new employee feels welcome, something fundamental and possible with the Uniksystem Employee Portal for HRM. Later, the employees themselves can upload all the documentation and fill in the data in the forms. This information is centralized in the Portal simplifing the onboarding process.

That is:

  • Employee onboarding is fully automated;
  • They are the ones who fill in their own data;
  • The Employees also upload and submit their personal documents;
  • Being notified to digitally sign the contracts.

With this automation:

  • Reduces administrative processes, time and effort;
  • Allows you to manage vacations, absences and working hours automatically;
  • Access online salary information;
  • Manage performance evaluation and individual progress;
  • Minimize administrative costs.

The HRM Portal reduces the administrative tasks of Human Resources and empower employees to manage their personal data. Corporate Talent is thus freed to perform tasks of greater value for the Organization.

Of course, the user experience is present throughout this process. Certainly users will give their feedback on improvements to be made, not least because they may already be involved in the development of other applications thinking about their own experience as a user.

Knowing all these advantages, you can contact and request a demonstration.

by João Costa – CTO @Uniksystem

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