User Experience (UX for short) gives in a simple way a complex subject – the user experience. And this is precisely the art of user experience: to make a complex matter such as the interaction of a human being with a system as simple and intuitive as possible in every aspect.
The U in UX stands for user. He is the protagonist when it comes to good user experience, and the first point of contact for any company that decides to go through the phases of the human-centered design process.
But the second component of UX, the X, should not be neglected either, it stands for the experience, that is, the experience that a user has when interacting with a product. This experience decides whether the user becomes a customer, remains a customer, or not.
Our solutions have a wide and useful range of functions and are reliable. But honestly – easy and intuitive to use – that’s where we have potential to make it easier for users.
We at BEX have recognized the importance of understanding our users and have therefore already started to integrate the UX process at the end of 2019 in collaboration with UX specialists from Interfacewerk. Since March, we have expanded our team with two UX students who support us in implementing the UX process in all areas.
To help you benefit from our newfound knowledge of UX and improve your customers’ experience, we’ve outlined the four iterative, or constantly repeating, phases of UX in more detail below.
Fig. 1: The human-centered design process
Phase 1: Understand and describe the user context
The basis for any good interaction is mutual understanding. As a user of a product, you provide your understanding of the company and the purchased application. For a mutual interaction, however, an often neglected aspect is missing here: user understanding on the part of the provider. This must be recognized and implemented in the first phase.
In order to understand the user and his requirements unadulteratedly, it is necessary to apply suitable UX methods.
Among other things, observations of the users in their natural working environment and self-logging of their interaction with and thoughts about the application can be used to understand all aspects of the interaction on the user side.
Phase 2: Define and specify usage requirements
When the first phase is successfully completed, you will have acquired an extensive collection of various feedbacks from your customers and legal, as well as technical specifications. But it is not enough just to know them, it is important to understand them and classify them correctly.
Wants, needs and requirements are fundamentally different, recognizing their differences and reflecting them correctly forms another cornerstone of the UX process – user requirements.
The basis for the correct assessment of the importance of customer feedback is the KANO model, which evaluates the importance of feedback depending on customer satisfaction and quality characteristics.
Fig. 2: The KANO model
Phase 3: Design and conceptualize solutions
In the third phase, the knowledge acquired in the two previous phases must be implemented. The aim should be to avoid trying to complete the solution perfectly straight away.
A solution should be changeable with as little effort as possible so that it can be adapted again and again to the new findings in the course of the dynamic process. Design tools such as Adobe XD or InVision can be used to ensure this dynamic way of working.
Phase 4: Validate and adapt the design
Have all system requirements been taken into account? This phase is where it gets exciting. Here you put your solutions through their paces by letting the user interact directly with the system. For this purpose, methods such as usability testing are used with the aim of evaluating the prototype and possibly discovering missing aspects. These can be
• not considered user groups from phase 1,
• forgotten requirements from phase 2 or
• non-intuitive design solutions from phase 3.
If one or more of these aspects occur, the corresponding phase(s) is/are repeated and the human-centered design process is run through again from the relevant phase.
Hopefully, the human-centered design process – or UX process – is now no longer a foreign concept to you. Here it is important to note that it is not a clearly numbered process, but an iterative, or repetitive, scheme of work. But when does the process end? If you want to constantly do good UX – never. Staying close to the customer and identifying new requirements remain essential even after a product is released, in order to make your customer’s work with the product as easy and intuitive as possible.
That’s why it’s so important for us to stay in touch with our customers and partners to improve our applications together with them.
You are interested in accompanying us on our way of continuous improvement?
Then you are welcome to become part of our tester pool and test the BEX products and designs even before the official release.