UXFactory

Who is the audience

WHO IS THE AUDIENCE : IDENTIFYING THE ‘TRUE’ USER

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SOUNDS LIKE A SIMPLE QUESTION, BUT IT ACTUALLY DOESN’T GET TAKEN INTO
CONSIDERATION NEARLY ENOUGH PRIOR TO COMPLETING A PROJECT CHARTER AND SPENDING VALUABLE RESOURCES AND DOLLARS.

MANY CORPORATIONS KICK OFF INITIATIVES SIMPLY BASED ON WHAT THEY THINK MAKES SENSE AND HOW THEY EXPECT A USER WOULD NEED TO INTERACT WITH IT. EVEN MORE SURPRISING IS THAT THESE ORGANIZATIONS DON’T RELY ON USER EXPERIENCE TEAMS TO DETERMINE THEIR PATH AND PROVIDE SOME INSIGHT FROM HISTORICAL EXPERIENCES, BUT RATHER LET DEVELOPMENT TEAMS RUN RAMPANT AND BUILD CODE-FOCUSED INTERFACES.

DON’T GET ME WRONG. MANY ORGANIZATIONS ARE BEGINNING TO VALUE THE SCIENCE (AND ART) OF USER EXPERIENCE AND BUILDING INTERNAL TEAMS TO ADDRESS THESE NEEDS. BUT ALL TOO OFTEN, IT IS LOOKED AT AS A BURDEN TO THE BOTTOM LINE INSTEAD OF A GROUP THAT SAVES THE COMPANY MONEY, TARGETS THE AUDIENCE CORRECTLY AND RECOMMENDS THE MOST EFFECTIVE BUSINESS SOLUTION.

WE WERE RECENTLY FACILITATING A WORK SESSION FOR A HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT COMPANY TO DRIVE OUT REQUIREMENTS AND BETTER DEFINE THE FUNCTIONAL AREAS AND POTENTIAL FEATURE SETS. THE GOAL WAS TO PORT AN APPLICATION AND VARIOUS PROCESSES ONLINE. DURING THIS SESSION THE TOPIC OF USER EXPERIENCE (PERSONAS, RESEARCH, ETC.) WAS RAISED AND A NUMBER OF EXECUTIVES IN THE ROOM STRONGLY STATED THERE WAS NEITHER THE TIME NOR NEED FOR ‘ANY OF THAT’ TO BUILD THE SOLUTION AND GO-TO-MARKET. WE NODDED AND THEN ASKED WHO THEY WERE TARGETING AND RECEIVED THE GENERIC RESPONSE OF “OUR CUSTOMERS”. WE SMILED AND CONTINUED TO GO DOWN THE PATH AND ASKED HOW THEIR CUSTOMERS CURRENTLY COMPLETE THE PROCESSES THEY WERE MOVING TO THE WEB. THE ROOM WAS, FOR THE MOST PART, SILENT. THEY WERE VIEWING THE ENTIRE PROCESS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF HOW THEY COULD TECHNICALLY MOVE PROCESSES TO THE WEB AND NOT HOW THE USER COULD ACTUALLY LEVERAGE THE SUITE OF TOOLS VIA THE PROCESSES TO GET THE DESIRED OUTCOME. IN THE END THEY SAW THE LIGHT. WE, IN AN EXPEDITED TIMELINE, PERFORMED SOME FIELD STUDIES TO GAIN A BETTER PERSPECTIVE OF THE PROCESSES THEIR CUSTOMERS ACTUALLY PERFORM AND HOW THEIR PRODUCT COULD FIT IN. IN ADDITION, IT SHED ADDITIONAL LIGHT ON THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE INDIVIDUALS CONDUCTING THE WORK WITHIN THEIR CUSTOMER ORGANIZATIONS.

Accomplishments

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