Large organizations are ushering in a radical functional change by inching closer towards a design-centric style of management. Mind you, the ‘design’ here transcends aesthetics, touching upon applying the principles to the way people function.
Design thinking has permeated industries as a result of the ever-increasing complexity of modern businesses which are mostly tech-reliant. This complexity manifests variably, for instance, raising the intuitiveness of a content management system or an HR portal. Regardless of the complexity at hand, a common thread binding these organizations is that the people working there need assistance in simplifying them. They deserve that their everyday interactions with operating systems to be simple, efficient, and perhaps delightful. This quote by Herbert Simon manages to perfectly illustrate the point.
The act of design devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.
Noticeably, organizations refraining from harnessing the power of User Experience (UX) design are usually guilty of rendering equally apathetic services and products. While the consensus remains that software systems ought to be user-friendly and intuitive, companies tend to be hesitant in investing the requisite time and resources it takes to build something compelling. It is up to the design advocates then, to guide them into incorporating design principles throughout and helping them realizing its impact on the company as a whole.
A major roadblock which pertains to B2B enterprises mainly is that any new software tends to be based on the extant version in the given industry, with minor upgrades. It tends to typically following the tenet ‘why fix what isn’t broken?’. Needless to say, this is a highly unfortunate situation for users to be in. Working with a software which employs poor UX opens up possibilities of serious security threats brought upon by human errors. In the healthcare field, these errors can result in life-threatening situations for patients; a financial institution’s database managers using a work-around may increase vulnerability to a cyber-attack; the slightest errors made in data entry within an insurance company can lead to misguided decisions.
A better user experience design holds the key to helping companies deal with a vast range of challenges.
Now, cut to the inclusion of experience design. Well thought-out interfaces are nothing short of magical. Good design is simple, intuitive, and responsive – users need not be taught to use it. It holds the key in making employees feel self-sufficient and smart. A better user experience design, thus, holds the key to helping companies deal with a vast range of challenges.
Experience Design explained
Design thinking amalgamates creative and critical thinking, allowing ideas and information to be organized, enable sound decision-making, improvising existing situations, and promote knowledge gain. Design thinking is a mindset focused on solutions rather than the problem. This methodology is widely used to solve complex problems by applying systemic reasoning and intuition to explore ideal future states. Designers adeptly do this keeping the end user or the customer in mind, before all else.
Why does it matter?
The reason to prioritize UXifying your business is because it’s the single biggest competitive advantage that you can have. Remember, your users are loyal to you because you solve their needs first, resulting in optimized output. As a former CEO of IBM insightfully stated, “Good design is good business.
- 15% of IT projects are abandoned before completion; 25% among those abandonments are directly attributable to UX problems.
- Programmers spend 50% of their time on avoidable rework.
- Focusing on customer experience increases willingness to pay by 14.4 %, and boosts product recommendations by 16.6 %.
Large businesses like IBM and GE have latched on to the fact that software is indispensable to their line of work and are concurrently coming to terms with the extraordinary levels of complexity they must manage. Experience design, for them is indeed an essential tool for simplifying and humanizing. It can no more be relegated as an extra, it needs to be a core competence.
According to the Design Management Institute’s Design Value Index, design-driven companies have maintained a significant stock-market advantage, outperforming the S&P 500 by an extraordinary 219% over the past ten years.
Making your organization UX-friendly
For a solution to be effective enough, it is imperative that the problems be identified correctly. So, if you encounter these listed problems in your organization, therein lies a business case to initiate UX-friendly solutions.
- Non-standardized experience across digital and physical products
- Proliferation of third party tools
- Poor system adoption
- Diminished user productivity
- Frequent errors in performance
- Increasing requests for support
- Ever-increasing change requests
- Extensive training requests from users
The presence of these problems warrants an action towards getting started with your UX initiative. You can take the first step by seeking a sound UX advisor to guide you through the transition and transformation.
UXifying your Business
There are a few key principles and tasks that any UX-driven organization functions on. These are –
- Following an industry-chartered UX philosophy, methodology and vision
- Achieving common business goals through collaboration across departments
- Encouraging employees to champion the cause of design thinking and empathy in their everyday work
- A consistent and on-going focus on an organization-wide understanding of target users, their needs, goals and motivations
- Enabling comprehensive training sessions and workshops towards helping employees realizing and driving forward the company’s UX vision
An institutional focus on experience design and design thinking will create friendlier and trustworthy technology. The decisions made by using these principles would result in products and services that are relatable and emotionally resonant. The resultant workplace will be one where employees are empowered contributors. It would be perceptive of changing business dynamics and be swiftly adaptable. This empathetic approach would drive forward a human-centric line of functioning to any business.
It’s possible that several among your existing employees have already latched on to the experience design bandwagon. However, they’d still need an impetus in the form of support and encouragement. You can return the favor by upgrading the company culture to be more design-inclusive. Going the user experience way might bring on more obstacles and delays in the short term. But what it ensures is, fewer problems and lighter roadblocks in the long run. Add to that, happy employees and happier customers – a win-win like no other.