Developing Applications that Improve the User Experience


I have always seen applications or websites as transacting tools.  An exchange is happening between myself and the application, I give it information and it returns information.  Justin Davis, a UX expert, explained that if we develop applications as if we are discussing a topic with a user, the user experience will improve.  I could not see how studying conversations will benefit a user’s experience when using an application and was intrigued but this statement.  He made some very valid points in this UX Salon presentation, Designing Better Conversations / Justin Davis

There were three points he highlighted:

  • Be easy to talk to (e.g. screen/options etc. should be clear and easily found)
  • Be polite (e.g. error messages or validations should be friendly)
  • Be attentive (e.g. enhance the user experience by being suggestive to the relevant task and process)

He also made reference to this video Google Analytics In Real Life – Online Checkout

After watching this humorous clip, I think you will agree that even though the cashier (application) followed the rules (the three points above), the user experience was still an #epicFail.  The cashier, representing the application, was easy to talk to, he was helpful when the user could not remember his login, he was polite when the user had different needs to the default and was attentive to his needs.  However, that was still an awful experience!

I do believe that the options the cashier mentioned, the delivery method, collection options etc. are all very necessary. Do you have any suggestions on how this users experience can be improved, without removing any of the necessary options?

My very first proposal was that an express lane is required, where the default settings would be catering for a ‘pick and pay’.  After contemplating my proposed solution, I realised that it is not going to work because it would inadvertently end up being a long queue.  We all think our needs are standard and always shocked and disappointed to learn that it is not standard, especially if you need to leave the current screen to go somewhere else for some other setting. Having all these options is very important but then we need to take speed, efficiency, training and business processes into account it makes a huge difference to the user experience, which is evident in the video.

SYSPRO developed an Xpress cart application in Espresso which allow users to add sales orders in just under 6 clicks! The Xpress cart adds sales order lines, and allows the user to view them before creating the sales order, giving the user an opportunity to add any required options. This is an express version of the sales order entry application, where the user interface was adjusted and the user experience is boosted.

The UX Salon presentation mentioned above was recorded in 2014, and fair enough is dated, but it is beneficial to be reminded about old school principles. Our customers should always feel empowered, respected and enlightened by their experience when using our application.

It is evident that we aim to let a 1000 flowers blossom with every release, aiming to improve the user experience, have meaningful conversations, and add value to business needs. After all, our ultimate goal has always been to simplify your success!


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