Some thoughts from Steve Jarvis, Commercial Director at Cordless on creating an optimal AV customer and end User Experience (UX) in the workplace…
Everyone’s talking about UX, but what does it really mean and how do we get there?
As a leading IT and AV Consultancy for Workplace Technologies, the “User Experience” is a critical consideration in every project that we deliver. For us, the User Experience relates to how staff, visitors, clients and contractors interface to the various technologies that make up a 21st Century Workplace. From the IT and AV Solutions delivered in meeting rooms or collaboration spaces, or the “Apps” people carry around with them on their Smartphones and Tablets, to find people, book resources or report issues; to interactive screens and signage that deliver information services about the physical spaces, the demand for simple intuitive connectivity and access to services is becoming paramount.
It is no longer acceptable to spend the first 15-20 minutes of a meeting enabling the technology, or to be reliant on a “support” resource to set up a video conference.
Getting there is the tricky part. This requires the development of a clear vision as to what type of working environment is trying to be created. How will your people work, interact and share information and knowledge? What impression do you want to give to your clients and visitors?
An optimal UX is as much about the design of the actual space, as it is the people and of course, the technology. To be successful these elements must be considered from the outset of any workplace project, so that expectations can be set, budgets aligned and delivery resources identified.
What steps do you take to create, engineer and deliver appropriate environments for clients?
These solutions cannot and should not be created in isolation. The vision must consider People, Place and Technology. From here, actual requirements and functionality can be defined and concept and detailed designs for the required solutions can be developed. Potential solutions can then be evaluated and suppliers and integrators selected.
It is extremely useful to model the user journey for a variety of Use Cases, whether that be staff, executives, clients or VIPs - to visualise the expected experience, and then to undertake Proof of Concepts with any potential solution to ascertain their suitability prior to roll out. Finally, it is critical to understand that new technologies require new behaviours. Taking staff with you on the Change Journey is key to getting the necessary buy in and usage of the new services.
How do you know when the environment is working effectively?
The end of the project is the start of the journey for the users. Undertaking a post project review is vital to the ongoing development of the systems and applications that are in use. What is working well? What are the issues? How do we improve the experience and functionality?
Users are the primary arbitrator in determining what is working effectively and what is not. Many organisations have deployed expensive and sophisticated AV and collaboration solutions in meeting rooms that never get used. Equally, vast sums have been spent on developing Workplace Apps that get used for a few weeks then become unutilised by the majority of staff.
Feedback is the key. Ask people, measure and track usage and undertake both qualitative and quantitative analysis.
Some final words of UX advice…
The most valuable insight we can add is to consider UX requirements as early as possible, align to your workplace strategy, get your budgets approved from the outset and don’t get dragged into product detail and functionality too soon.
To talk to Cordless about workplace technology and UX, say firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 13:21:57 +0100 GMT