Greig Johnston, CEO of Vidatec, returns to CEO.digital with this piece on why end-user experience plays such a key role in the success of any transformation project.
As I wrote previously for CEO Digital, there are a number of reasons why 84% of digital projects fail; they haven’t been scoped or resourced properly, transformation is siloed, or colleague/customer intimacy isn’t properly considered.
Happily, there are a few simple things you can do to dramatically improve your chances of digital project success. Perhaps the most important of these is ensuring your digital project is end-user focused for the lifecycle of the project.
End-user simply means the person (or people) who use – or are intended to use – a product. So, end-user focus means prioritising – and never losing sight of – the needs of the end-user when developing a product or service. Our teams at Vidatec always consider how an end-user would interact with a company or brand and what kind of relationship they’d have. While this might sound obvious, it’s surprising how often this goes wrong.
Take, for example, the often-used illustration of King Charles III and Ozzy Osbourne. When it comes to demographics and market segmentation, both are British, male, white, wealthy, twice married and born in 1948. Yet it’s obvious for everyone to see that the similarities – probably – stop there.
To consider another example, look at climate activist Greta Thunberg and YouTuber JoJo Siwa. These young women are the same age, have a considerable social media presence, and have been named among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world. Yet, it’s likely that Thunberg’s followers have never heard of Siwa and vice versa. You might even find that Thunberg has more in common with the climate conscious King Charles III!
People are more complex than their nationality, gender, socio economic group, age, and occupation; they have different interests, likes and dislikes – and personality preferences. Assessing them in such crude terms is unlikely to produce the desired results. To develop a more accurate understanding of people and how they respond to different stimuli – which informs the end-user experience – a more sophisticated methodology is needed.
Here are some top tips I’ve developed that should help your teams better understand the end-user and ensure your next digital project is a success.
1. Understand human behaviour
A deeper understanding of human behaviours helps focus more sharply on the end-user, so try investing a significant chunk of time upfront to get to know your customers and end-users. Truly delivering against end-user experience involves understanding how people work, and how technology works, then seamlessly delivering the desired digital project outcomes.
2. Use a common language
People absorb and process information differently, which can result in different judgements and decisions being reached. A common language – like Insights Discovery’s language of colour – can help to ensure everyone is using the same language, improving understanding and accuracy throughout the lifecycle of your digital project. It can also enable people to raise issues and challenges in a positive and healthy way, avoiding the kind of misunderstanding and upset that can cause digital projects to be delayed – or totally derailed.
3. Tailor communications for different preferences
Another important factor to consider is how tailoring communications for different personalities can impact the end-user experience. This concept is already being applied through features like Google autofill, Word text suggestions, and weekly insights from your work suite. The next step towards the future of digital experiences is developing a tailored fit for every user with the power of AI.
4. Consider the end-user experience
The team responsible for agreeing the scope of the digital project must always ensure they understand what the end-users wants, or at least, are prepared to accept and adopt. Whatever the target audience, their needs must be considered at every stage of the process – and that isn’t necessarily about deciding on their behalf. Almost always, it should include elements of consultation, conversation, and collaboration.
Ensuring your teams have a solid understanding of human behaviour and never letting them lose sight of the end-user experience will dramatically improve the success of your digital projects.
ABOUT OUR GUEST WRITER
Greig Johnston is CEO at Vidatec. He has worked in the technology sector for over 25 years, buying and selling technology services. He specialises in helping businesses of all sizes develop digital strategies that deliver an exceptional end user experience on mobile & web.