What is Corporate UX and how can it help your business?
How to distinguish from competition? How to build internal systems so as to positively affect the productivity, business performance (KPIs) and reduce investment and operating costs? Corporate UX will help you with that.
Technology Changes Business
The pace at which technology and online business develop is staggering. Some branches that have been traditional up to now are fundamentally changing, largely due to changes brought by technology. Especially traditional companies are forced to radically adapt their strategy, automate their processes and deploy new systems that make them capable of facing stiff competition in the online world. Most of the affected companies are well aware of these changes and try responding to them. Unfortunately, in some cases, we meet with the fact that a change of thinking is inadequate and most of the effort is focused only on the technology and business matters. The overwhelming majority of analysis and design of these "traditionally" designed technology/business-driven projects is dedicated to a selection of technology and analysis of business requirements. The results are then solutions based on the latest technology and sophisticated business analysis, which are, however, refused by users (clients, but also employees). From our perspective, one essential ingredient is missing there - the involvement of users in the process of analysis and design. Why is the users' involvement so important from our point of view? Mainly because it is them who you design the solutions for and their requirements for user friendliness, easiness of use and overall user experience (UX) are constantly increasing. Meeting the user's needs and expectations will help you distinguish yourself from the competition, especially at the time when a large part of products commoditise (the main differentiator is the price).
User's Involvement to Design
The solution is to use a design process focusing on the future users and taking account of their needs already in the early stages of the project - User Experience Design (UXD). In principle, this is a design of digital products and services that takes into account user emotions, expectations, preferences, perceptions, reactions, but also possible limitations. The aim is to provide users with the best "User Experience – UX” = the overall impression a user has after using the product. The outcome of this process is a comprehensive design of a future digital product/service that covers all parts of UXD (user research, information architecture, interaction design, usability and visual design), as shown below.
Corporate UX is a subset of UXD that focuses on design and optimization of internal corporate systems and processes from the perspective of UX. The user is not a client, but an employee or a business partner. These include, for example, B2B portals, Contract generators, Workforce Management Systems, Reporting Tools (BI), Call Centres Systems or CRM. Corporate UX enhances a user's adoption of applications. Therefore it significantly increases productivity, business performance (KPIs) and decreases investment and operational costs of IT projects.
Benefits of Corporate UX:
- It increases productivity and business performance (KPIs)
- It shortens development time
- It reduces the number of change requests
- It reduces training costs
- It reduces support costs
How to Deal with Corporate UX in Practice
As mentioned in the introduction, we use a standardized process of preparing a design, which is aimed at users (user-centered). A key feature of the process is its iterative approach and continuous design verification on users.
Individual Steps of the Process:
- Plan – Specify requirements
Determining business requirements and user goals that must be met to make the product successful.
- Analysis and Research – Specify the context of use
Identification of the user who will use the product or service - what he will need it for and what are the possibilities and limitations for its use.
- Design – Create a design solution
This part of the process is typically performed in several iterations from rough concept to full design - design of information architecture, interaction and visual form.
- Adaptation – Adapt the design to current needs and limitations
Adapting the final design before, but also during the implementation of the current needs and limitations that were not included in the design (changes in the client's priorities, technological limitations, ...).
- Assessment – Assess the design
The most important part of the process - assessment with the help of testing by real users (ideally as soon as possible on the prototype). Quality testing helps develop a good digital product.
A slightly different mix of techniques and methods that is set at the beginning of the project together with the client is suitable for each project. When designing new products, we focus on the identification of users and their needs/motivations/limitations (user research) and subsequent rapid design visualization, e.g. through prototyping. Thanks to this method, it is possible to visualize an until now text input (e.g. in the form of an interactive HTML5 prototype) and present it to an sponsor, as well as to the future users before it is written the first line of the code. Subsequently, it is time for the user testing and the prototype is repeatedly tested and improved. In the case of improving existing solutions, it is possible to use different methods of user research aimed at revealing the main shortcomings of the existing solution. These are mainly interviews, user testing of usability or hidden user tracking and behaviour analysis. In both cases, problems above the level of future application/system are frequently identified, within the products or business processes. UXD is therefore not just a process of a digital product designing, but rather a global corporate strategy.
Corporate UX is a subset of UXD (User Experience Design) focused on the design and optimization of internal corporate systems and processes from the perspective of UX. Corporate UX positively affects productivity, business performance (KPIs) and decreases investment and operational costs of IT projects. Since Corporate UX may have an impact not only on the design of digital products and services, but also on corporate processes, it should be seen more as a global corporate strategy.