The Best Things in UX…

Posted by Taylor Haney on Wed, Oct 29, 2014

We have two more UX and Design posts to wrap up our theme this month. This post is written by Michael Moore, Product Marketing Manager at Pegasystems Inc. Michael provides insight into why invisibility should be a key characteristic in UX strategy and execution.

describe the imageMichael (Mike) Moore, Product Marketing Manager at Pegasystems, brings a fresh perspective to enterprise software from his experience developing his marketing and analytical chops in the worlds of finance, private equity and even fantasy sports.  He’s always happy to engage in a spirited discussion on Twitter, LinkedIn or Email and just to clarify… he’s not THAT “Michael Moore” 

…Are invisible!

User experience is often the lynchpin to customer engagement and when it comes to User Experience (UX), most people tend to remember their BAD experiences, while the good ones become an afterthought. It’s actually really crazy to think that one of the most important ways in how a customer interacts with your company, which generally goes unnoticed, is UX, a key component we at Pega focus on for delivering a great customer experience. So, I thought I’d share 4 key elements that we believe are essential for delivery great UX:

Pega blog 1

Sadly, I’m not talking about the band who calls for you to ‘Rock and Roll All Night’, I’m referring to Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) principle. Simplicity is at the heart of great UX design and Steve Jobs, the master of UX put it best,

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Mobile First

If you know your product will be mobile, it just ends up being easier to design around mobile first and then scale back to desktop use. Designing for mobile can be trickier than desktop because there are multiple different settings where it has to be deployed (e.g. – iPhones, Androids, Tablets, etc.) which can take more time to design for. In fact, as Roger Pressman cites in his book “Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach”,

“Every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development and $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release”

While I can’t claim to be Warren Buffett, I’m pretty confident that spending $10 rather than $100 is sound financial advice.

Iterate

Finally, after working with our UX team and hearing about success and failures, I finally asked, ‘What led to their biggest failures?’ as strange as it may seem to me - .

They overwhelming agreed that their project failure was due to not having any iteration on an idea. By iteration, I mean no testing of hypotheses or incorporating other opinions into design. Rather just going with a singular idea and pushing it forward irrespective of feedback or consequences or as Marissa Mayer put it back when she was at Google,

"The Googly thing is to launch [products] early on Google Labs and then iterate, learning what the market wants — and making it great.”

Which serves as a great lead in to the last key…

KYC

Know Your Customer. It seems simple right? It’s pretty tough to hit a target that you can’t see, but far too often when you ask someone who is designing a product, ‘Who is your target audience?’ they can’t give an answer, let alone give a detailed explanation of how the audience will use it. Knowing who your customer is and how they will use it is essential to delivering great UX, otherwise you really are trying to hit a target you can’t see. Tim Brown, the president and CEO of the global design consultancy IDEO, puts it up best,

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

Hopefully, those keys give you a better sense of how to approach UX and make it invisible to your customers. Post a comment, tweet at me, or shoot me a message on LinkedIn and let me know your challenges designing UX?