User experience – what is it and why does it matter?

When building Engage, we took a leaf out of consumer product developers’ book and focused heavily on user experience. User experience is a term you can’t miss in the tech world these days. TechCrunch defines it as ‘how “sticky” an app is: how easy it is to use, how engaging it is, how relevant it is to what users are doing, etc.’

The TechCrunch article also suggests that Engage is still a bit of a rarity in the business world, where user experience is largely still lagging behind the consumer sector. Although consumer-facing apps have had to adapt and put the user first in order to achieve the traction they’re after, enterprise software hasn’t been so quick to evolve.

Delighting users and creating new experiences

User experience is not just about making processes so intuitive that user manuals are no longer required or moving the technology to the cloud so it is more accessible. It’s not even about making it mobile-ready and multi-device friendly – although all those things should be included. It’s about “break[ing] out of the traditional ‘technology view’ and start[ing] to think about what technology now makes possible, creating new experiences and delivering top-line value in the process.”

One buzzword in user experience lingo at the moment is ‘delighting’ the user. This means finding new ways to utilise the capabilities of the technology at hand to will bring value to the user in new and exciting ways. Users discover new features or content almost by surprise and the delivery is optimised to the device they’re using.

Always put user experience first

Whatever the product, the key is this: think about the user first. What are users trying to achieve? What tasks do they want to complete? Once you know the objective, then you can start thinking how best to facilitate those using the most appropriate technology available. As TechCrunch conclude, “It comes down to the opportunity for people to use apps and devices that make them most productive whenever and wherever they need them”.

To see what an intuitive user experience in absence management feels like, try Engage for free!