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6/5/2015
08:06 AM
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Usability: The Road To Digital Transformation

"Going digital" is pointless if your digital products don't resonate with users.

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PeterF028
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PeterF028,
User Rank: Moderator
6/15/2015 | 10:47:17 AM
Reoccurring theme
User centric is so cruial and will continue to be important as we see a continued push towards IoT.  If people cannot use it or the interface is lacking, the capabilities will diminish significantly.  People will always play a pivotal role, and ignoring this will only result in ultimate failure. Peter Fretty, IDG blogger working on behalf of CSC
shoobe01
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shoobe01,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/9/2015 | 10:58:02 AM
Re: The user is the king
Happy to see the focus on the user, but I think there's some missing steps or misunderstanding in what usability and UX is. 

First, there are many types of designers. I hope you do things like /design/ the software, don't just build it. Based on your comments and the anecdote in the story, what you are calling a "designer" is a graphic or visual designer. An interface designer, vs. an interaction, or information designer, or IA. 

A bunch of UX-centric types hate that we have an overarching title for "UX designer" but here is where it helps. If you get a design that is just (or above all) pretty, it is not even worth proceeding. There's almost no chance it will succeed without some intention behind it. 

To that end, the "usability sciences" are more complex than they appear. You cannot just observe people and fix it, as everything is tied together, and people react in unobvious ways. You need to understand cognitive psychology and physiology. Ideally, you got those UX designers to use their knowledge of heuristics (scientifically proven best practices) to get you something that is an 80+% solution out of the gate. Only a few things generally need to be fixed then, though test is nice.

Are you testing right? I see a LOT of people who test in the office. Big name companies with consumer electronics and marketing campaigns, who do not test with unaffiliated, likely end users. It's a problem. 

Lastly, I saw some comments that seemed to imply user goals align automatically with business goals. As someone who does this formally all the time: no. Very often the business goal is something very different from the user goals, and a much more important part of the job than figuring out which color to make which control is determining the principles upon which the product will work, and what that means to the structure, flow, and interaction of it. \
jfeldman
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jfeldman,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2015 | 6:05:35 PM
Re: add designers
@SoozyG, designers have a role, but in my world, I've started to hire developers with a talent for design and usability. I think that taking care of the customer is everybody's job.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2015 | 3:42:44 PM
Re: add designers
@jfeldman, ah, yes, that makes sense. So developers are supposed to be the talent that ensures usability?
jfeldman
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jfeldman,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2015 | 2:52:14 PM
Re: add designers
Thanks for the thoughtful comments! Unfortunately, too many designers sometimes focus on "pretty" over "usable"; and they are different things. But great point!
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2015 | 2:47:12 PM
add designers
What to do? Perhaps the answer is to expose developers to what usability can mean to them: the difference between customer abandonment and engagement.

Isn't this where designers come in? Don't designers work with developers to make sure the design is user friendly?
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2015 | 2:44:28 PM
the why
But above all, digital must focus on the "what": the ability to drive more quality customer conversion.

Actually, if you follow Simon Sanek's "Start with Why" above the "what" is "why" that drives conversion.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2015 | 2:40:51 PM
Re: The user is the king
to achieve business goals in a way that was never possible before.

You would think that a definition that includes the phrase "business goals" would assume the customer aspect of it but I guess because the 2nd definition was more specific and included the customer aspect that people don't assume it. Which is sad.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2015 | 11:56:02 AM
The user is the king
The key point here is that, the user is the king. The product needs to let users feel excited and want to scream - otherwise there is no sustainable stickness of the end user. The digital transformation will be vain if we do not treat user as the center of gravity.
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