In Part 5 of this series on “Why You Need a UX Team“, we look at how a UX Team can often uncover flaws in your business by shadowing and interviewing your users.
Uncover Flaws in Your Business
When we shadow users within their work environments, we are there to learn how we can design a user experience that takes into account how users perform their jobs and go about their daily routines. Often times, during these activities, we also uncover flaws in our client’s business that they were unaware of.
For example, one client had employees with the same job titles all had different responsibilities at different locations. This was discovered because we were trying to define a consistent set of user personas for the application’s user experience and roles-based security model. This discovery also reveal how certain employees were given too many responsibilities where others were not given enough. And, in some cases there were compliance-related issues and risks that were happening because unauthorized employees were expected to perform tasks using information that they were not supposed to have access to. The ripple effect of this discovery led to a complete overhaul of the company’s job titles and responsibilities.
In another example, we revealed to our client how certain employees were required to perform an enormous amount of redundant paperwork and data entry on a daily basis that was not only extremely inefficient but it also posed a significant risk of flawed data due to inevitable human error. To measure and demonstrate the magnitude of the problem, we used a stopwatch to time the most commonly performed tasks and multiplied them by the number of times the same data had to be reentered in on paperwork or screen. Needless to say the minutes quickly added up to hours as we factored in the number of the employees all performing these same tasks. As a result of our findings, our client re-prioritized the features in their product backlog so that all data could be entered into the software and, once entered, it could be available on any screen without ever having to re-enter it.