Connect to enhance user experience

Often we don’t allow an user to expostulate our design. That extra field does makes them feel bloated but sometimes designer does not pay any heed. Is it lack of some magical connect with user? Surprisingly the answer is yes.

In order to understand user and have a remote connect one must conduct many application tests, have casual chat with users and developers to understand user troubles and issues with the designs.

Recently, I interviewed Sa Trung, designer behind 34pass.com. When I tested the application I felt that app was too laconic (which is a great sign) and I wanted to know why, and here is the response of Trung.

“In 8 out of 10 times users are convinced with design changes I make. Somehow within I feel that user would be happy to use my design and when I introduce those extra fields I feel the pain first even before I ask the user

34pass.com just has required fields no more no less right from the sign up page to logout”

Trung has a great connect with his users and he often test 2 or 3 new applications a day and this trait of his user connect is now embedded within him, it is part of him.

Have that connect with user, try and test multiple apps, communicate with users often and embed this wonderful trait to better your designs and user experience.

A strange email, Ux impact

Recently, I booked a hotel ticket to celebrate dad’s 56th birthday through makemytrip as a gift to my parents. Thankfully registration was optional. I selected a hotel and the room and paid applicable charges and a voucher was sent to my email Id.

All seemed good until I received a strange email along with the voucher in my registered inbox

An email from makemytrip that contained my email I’d and a password. I couldn’t resist to ask myself, Is this a forced customer acquisition?. My imagination went to a spin and here are my stupid thoughts:

Is this legal?
can a disgruntled employee of makemytrip misuse my account?
Why not take a permission before account creation.
Is this spam, cause I just expected a hotel voucher?
Can this be a hack attempt to retrieve the credit card details when I log using the password sent?
Can I write about this on my blog (btw I just did that)?

With a hope that email is genuine I bravely logged in and was able to browse my account

Wait a second, here is another catch. Makemytrip did not forced me to change my password when I first logged in. That’s scary right?

Now does this entire process improves user experience, irritate a customer or maybe compromise potential security aspects.

I leave this question to the audience.

Manage product not a function

In today’s corporate environment company comprises of various function/departments. Often innovation and product excellence is  lost when company concentrates on multiple activities such as employe management, product performance and profitability, meet various statutory requirement, maintain various applications and so on.

Top management has a box full of issues, concerns, glitches which have to be dealt with. How could one manage this humungous task of organization management

A different perspective:

Create products as a business unit, make products and service as a profit as well as a cost center instead of an entire function.

Take for examples products such as Mailing, Hosting, Cloud, Security services etc. What if we make each product as center of excellence.

Lets look at how this type of management drill down, case in here “Mailing Product”.

Cost involved to sell each product – R&D (Innovation), People (Salaries), Operations (help-desk costs, Administration costs, Technology , Facility cost, Travel, Infrastructure) etc.

Profit – Revenue-Cost

A dedicated support function (Compliance, Sales, Procurement, Support etc) can be setup to these individual product (Dedicates resources for Mailing, Hosting, Back up etc). Hence mail service is not just a product in X company it is their individual value stream, a revenue center and a center of product excellence where the objective is to create more innovative products.

Each product have similar center of product excellence teams that strive to be on top. Even the measurements against these particular product becomes manageable.

Typical measurement lists for a product:

1. Number of support calls logged

2. Revenue per head count

3. Number of complaints

4. Delivery within time.

5. Revenues, Profits and so on…

This is a decentralized way to run a company but one may try to see if such management style reap any benefit.

I credit Jack Welch who forced me to think products as individual center of excellence (reference: Straight from the gut)