“Why don’t you carry any cash with you?” This was a question my dad asked when he visited me a few years ago. Back in my hometown, daily transactions are predominantly done through the physical exchange of money and it got me thinking about my transition into a digitally dominated lifestyle – news, entertainment, travelling, etc.
Embracing technological advancements and integrating them into my daily life has not only changed the way I do things but also the way I think. I’m a curious person, so I always question how certain functionalities work and the underlying principles? Not only wondering how it’s beneficial for me, but also how it’s benefitting the business that provides these services. Is it just to increase their revenue, or brand recognition and user loyalty, or all three? At the end of the day, what do they get by providing their end-users a service that seamlessly integrates with daily life?
After pondering these questions, I realized it’s not about having the latest and greatest features and functionality or having the best user interface rather it’s all about the value it adds to my life coupled with simplicity.
I have had a mix of good and bad experiences when it comes services provided by financial institutions, retailers or entertainment providers but I kept going back to the same ones after trying out other alternatives and was pleasantly surprised to find that the negative experiences I’ve had in the past were not present! This surely couldn’t have been magic. Well, turns out, the “magic” are dedicated teams whose primary responsibility is to understand user behavior and user experience on the services they provide. They constantly research ways to make it better and more efficient.
A simple question from my dad opened the flood gates, but how does it all relate? Well, a tap on a small bright screen to complete the purchase of two dozen donuts for a family event on a wonderful Saturday afternoon might seem like a simple transaction on the surface but the underlying system it relies on to complete the transaction is not so simple. Many times, it requires various teams working together in order to create a system that functions without breaking other components. And in the process, various software solutions are utilized that don’t necessarily translate across different teams.
Going back to a point I mentioned earlier, it’s all about the experience. In this digital age, brand loyalty and brand recognition is critical to the success of businesses who need to work in a very agile manner to keep up with the industry. And a lot of times, the vision of a final product might not translate clearly across teams in the fast paced nature of the technology industry.
So, what is really keeping businesses on top of their game in this digital age? User experience! It’s having the ability to understand how end-users navigate and utilize your services, what some of the common touch points are and how they spend most of their time in the app. Along with being able to translate the various technical metrics into business impact immediately changes the conversation for application owners while technical metrics can be utilized by operations to have a better understanding of the impact on their infrastructure and help developers understand where to focus time and resources in order to eliminate or minimize the negative impact – in short, focus on innovation rather than spending time on troubleshooting user issues. A collaborative approach between teams internally is essential to understanding where the business stands in order deliver a flawless user experience must be the key priority!