User experience - what is it and why does it matter
This post was written by Stephanie Crowe a freelance user experience researcher.
HaRi-Bot has changed and adapted since it’s original inception, always as a result of user feedback and testing. Most recently, Human Resource Intelligence (HRI) opted to do in-depth user experience research to see what more can be done to satisfy the users of HaRi-Bot®. I as an independent user experience specialist investigated what its users, both HR, and staff, want and need from the chatbot.
What is user experience?
User experience (or UX) is the experience that your users have when they interact with your business. It covers what they see, hear, do and feel during any interaction.
It is not, what you believe your users should say, think or feel.
In the case of HRI, we focused on the UX of the HaRi-Bot® tool and therefore have taken a software focus through the rest of this article.
Why does user experience matter?
A company’s intentions with their software may not necessarily translate directly for the user. Company A may have designed an ‘easy to use’ website with wonderful content, but something as small as using the wrong colour or bad stock photos might decrease the users' trust in their brand. Additionally, users naturally look for the familiar, so when something is added to the site that they need to interact with that is unfamiliar to them in the worldwide web, it causes anxiety and frustration.
User experience is about understanding what users truly think and feel when using the software from an independent perspective. Often looking past just the quantitative data of heat maps, site visits, and clicks, it's about understanding the faces the user makes during their interaction and the words they utter whilst scrawling through the site.
Customer satisfaction with products is key – every organisation knows that if users enjoy the experience they will return again and again. HRI have been very clear about ensuring that employees find the process of interacting with HaRi-Bot® easy and engaging.
What methods did we use?
Ahead of testing, we planned out a session for users to interact with HaRi-Bot® using a range of scenarios for users to perform. In this instance, I utilised a number of techniques to evaluate their experiences: observation, timing and interviewing. We had a full day of testing in a confidential environment where participants were free to discuss all of their thoughts and feelings. All responses were anonymised and no one from HRI was present. This is crucial as it provides participants the ability to be completely honest and open with their answers.
There is a range of methods available for testing which we did not utilise here: eye tracking, surveys to name a few. I take each project individually and apply the appropriate methods to enable me to get the best results for my clients and their needs.
What improvements will be made?
Prior to testing, HRI had ideas of their own about what to improve, my feedback has enabled them to make sure that they are focussing their design and development work in the right ways. HRI has greater clarity on what’s really important to their users to make HaRi-Bot® as user-friendly as possible and how it can be best used.
Louise Rogers, CEO of HRI commented “Stephanie’s feedback has been invaluable to us. It is critically important to us that we deliver for our customers; meeting their needs and expectations. Engaging her independent assessment has made sure that we are focused in the right areas and not just delivering what we think people would like. “
If you’d like to improve you