In recent years, the perception of UX design has changed dramatically. In the profession’s early days, less mature organizations frequently treated UX professionals as another type of graphic designer, as though UX designers were synonymous with Web designers. But, in today’s leading organizations, UX design is a strategic capability that drives innovation and enhances competitiveness. Similarly, the role of UX professionals has shifted beyond creating functional—if not delightful—user experiences by applying usability, information architecture, and design principles. Now, UX professionals are applying more of their understanding of psychology and human behavior to devising design principles in the service of persuasion. Read More
As software products have expanded over the decades, companies have had to apply a fair amount of effort to managing their customers’ experience. Since companies have added more and more features and functions to their software products, customer engagement has begun to fluctuate. Managing customers’ expectations had become complicated. These products have continued to grow because customers desired more features and the software companies wanted to offer more value—for a nominal fee, of course. Now, these companies confront the challenge not only of how to design and build the new features but also how to manage and release them.
Several companies—for example, Google—have managed these changes fairly well, but many have a lot of room for improvement. The days are over when we can honestly say, “If we build it, they will come.” We must do the work necessary to truly understand our customers’ needs. If we understood our customers, we would understand that we can’t just jam new features or functions into our software and expect customers joyfully to accept them. Read More
In Part 1 of this two-part series, I described some challenges that companies have in managing their customers’ experience as their software products evolve. These are not uncommon problems, nor are they easy challenges to overcome.
In my experience, developers of legacy software that are working to grow their platform are generally the furthest behind the curve. If, in general, they have dealt with change management in a piece-meal fashion, they are bound to face a sobering reality at some point. These companies also have existing customers who have contributed to and have a vested interest in the legacy software. Plus, they need to onboard new customers on the legacy system who may struggle with the legacy software and want improvements. This situation can present a wicked problem that puts a company in a perpetual technical tug of war. Read More