User Experience:The overall impression while using a website or computer application, especially in terms of ease or pleasure to use.
A good part of my career has revolved around building, delivering, and/or managing user workspaces for organizations of all sizes and industries. I was involved in the early days of virtual applications, with the adaption of virtual desktops (VDI), and now with the movement into hybrid/cloud desktop (DaaS) space. I learned countless things through each of these stages, but they all share one outcome: the evolution and growth of the user experience (UX). I’m amazed that after all these years some still misunderstand the vital perspective of UX and how it applies to these transformations. Not only is user experience defined as noted above, UX also fundamentally means seeing it solely from the perspective of the user instead of the creator. There’s always the pitfall of failing to stand in the user’s shoes with any product because we’re so wrapped up in building the solution.
An excellent example of fundamental transformations in UX can be seen from one of the world’s most influential tech companies today: Apple. When Steve Jobs defined his vision for Apple products, they didn’t just set out to make better hardware that was able to store 1000 songs and was faster than any other competitor’s product--they set out to create products that represent Apple as the undeniable best UX on the market. From the first purchase experience (online or in-store) to the visual appeal of the packaging, or from the unwrapping of the product along with the placement of accessories to the ease of setup and usability: these details drive and fortify the best user experience for consumers, while also making Apple a towering success and a ubiquitous brand.
Here’s the mission statement from Apple’s design team:
Apple products work beautifully because our designers maintain an intense focus on simplicity and usability. They judge the success of their work not by everything they put into it, but by everything the user gets out of it.
This mindset can easily be applied to our own regular practices during the current transformation with End User Computing. Not only should we rethink fundamental technologies such as hardware, networking, and storage, but most importantly we should focus on the paramount requirement of usability by the consumer.
Having that said, consider the following while working on UX projects:
Talk/Interview the user community – challenges, nice-to-haves, benefits
Review Support logs – no point in a building something new with the same issues
Early user adaption with user team leads – fill in the gaps and gain support from user culture
Develop a goal-oriented plan – demonstrate wins and iterative growth to the business and users
Utilize voice and promotion through the user team leads – remember that users speak user language
Listen to your user community and avoid working in a vacuum
Any variance in change is never well-received within user culture, so make the most of your first impression and how you communicate. It’s our responsibility to optimize the quality of UX in all the things we create. It may not always be perfect, but continuous support and trust from the user community is the ultimate win. Become your brand!