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UX Research for Internal Enterprise Tools

UX Research for Internal Enterprise Tools

Tools and software enterprise users have to work with on a daily basis are often described as "ugly" and "hard to use". Most of those tools are built by IT teams with no designers in the process. In this talk, I share my research process for the redesign of a tool used by 1000+ internal users on a daily basis. I explain the challenges of such environments and what to do about those, what surprised me, coming from more B2C products and why I love this kind of job. And you'll also get a few "enterprise UI tips" along the way.
I think there's a lot of missed opportunities in those environments and a huge potential for more UX work. Let's improve our internal employees' tools!

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Stéphanie Walter

January 27, 2022
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  1. UX Research for Internal Enterprise Tools Stéphanie Walter - 2022

  2. stephaniewalter.design @WalterStephanie 🦊 User Researcher & UX Designer 
 Mobile

    expert. Pixel & CSS Lover
  3. I design products & softwares used by internal employees for

    their daily work.
  4. Products, Softwares & Services built internally in the company SaaS

    product sold as packages to be then used by employees
  5. Historically, enterprise products meant “ugly” and “hard to use”.

  6. Our UX Researcher and Design Process for an Internal Tool

  7. One Internal Tool, a LOT of different user groups

  8. We start with data ๏ Current page usage ๏ Business

    Analysis of the content of the pages
  9. User Interviews ๏ Understand tasks and activities ๏ Get pain-points,

    needs and frustrations If you had a magic wand, what would you change to make this activity/task easier for you? Can you remember you biggest pain or issue when trying to perform this activity? How do you overcome this today? Interactions Dependencia Pain points What actions or decisions do you take in order to accomplish this? Describe an activity or task that requires you to use Scrap« in your dailywork. Are they other actions/ people you need in order to perform this activity? Activity How? changes Rythm & duration Hew long does it take? Objects Are they other tools you need irt order to perform your activity? ^ Priority If you had a magic wand, what would you change to make this activity/task Can you remember you biggest pain Interactions V- Dependencies Describe an activity or task that requires you to use Scrap« in your dailywork. What actions or decisions do you take in order to accomplish this? Magic Are they other actions/ people you need in order to perform this activity? Activity How? How do you overcome this today? A'rfw-J- dL Rythm & duration How long does it take? do you to (hi Objects Are they other tools you need in order to perform your activity? ^ Priority If you had a magic wand, what would you change to make this activity/task easier for you? Can you remember you biggest pain or issue when trying to perform this activity? How do you overcome this today? Pain points Describe an activity or task that requires you to use Scrap« in your dailywork. Activity changes Rythm & duration Hew long does it take? ^ Priority
  10. Gathering feedback on what was developed ๏ Observational feedback session

    on beta version ๏ User Diary
  11. Reporting and defining priorities List big pain-points and needs Prioritize

    those with the team: fast track vs big topics
  12. Fast track ๏ No extra research needed ๏ Mostly UI

    design (and information architecture) ๏ Use the design system to migrate the content ๏ Then ask for feedback in beta observational sessions
  13. Specific research for big topics ๏ Gather the previous research

    on the topic ๏ Schedule some more interviews / task observation for that topic ๏ Prototype (Axure) ๏ Usability Testing
  14. Monitoring & Measuring ๏ Usage with Matomo (daily session, how

    many users, etc.) ๏ UMUX-lite Survey (perceived usability and usefulness) ๏ Feedback and Verbatims
  15. A User Centered Process applied to enterprise environments Analyse &

    Understand Design, Explore, prototype Test, Evaluate, 
 Measure Learn, Update, Implement
  16. Some challenges UX Researchers might face…

  17. Bad user experience is the norm because perceived value of

    design is low. 1.
  18. ๏ User start demanding better tools ๏ Make the process

    transparent ๏ Turn developers, BAs, QAs into design advocates ๏ Don’t bring an opinion to a data fight
  19. You are saddled with legacy
 (data, user habits) 2.

  20. ๏ Keep a candid eye to question things ๏ Seek

    business / developer’s help ๏ Prepare, support and help users going through the change, aka change management
  21. Complex internal organisations slow things down. 3.

  22. ๏ Patience: you are in for the long game ๏

    Find precious allies ๏ Don’t hesitate to try to break silos ๏ Understand what makes people click and leverage it
  23. A lot of security and tool constraints. 4.

  24. ๏ Be flexible, the tool doesn’t make the designer 🧠

    ๏ Accept you may not be as efficient at first
  25. You might not be able to show fancy work for

    your portfolio. 5.
  26. ๏ Ask for permission, remove the name and sensible data

    ๏ “On demand” portfolio ๏ Present the process but not the screens
  27. Working in such environment can be nice and rewarding…

  28. Complex Information Architecture: I feel like a detective some days.

    1.
  29. Easier access 
 to internal users to conduct research. 2.

  30. It involves some 
 service and process design as well.

    3.
  31. A LOT of improvement opportunities. 4.

  32. Direct collaboration with business and developers. 5.

  33. Some specificities of users and user needs in enterprise environments

  34. “A user interface is like a joke. If you have

    to explain it, it’s not that good.”
 This doesn’t apply to enterprise UX. 1.
  35. Training doesn’t mean your interface isn’t good. Some people need

    and expect it!
  36. Training sessions can be user for user research, to gather

    feedback, first impression, etc.
  37. A user interface is like a joke. If you have

    to explain it, it’s not that good. Like any good joke, you might need some prior knowledge (business) to understand it. Doesn’t make it a bad joke. Or a bad interface. “ ” For Enterprise UX
  38. Don’t oversimplify: complex business can require complex interfaces. 2.

  39. inpx.it/UXEfficientFrontier

  40. Users need data on those screens. We need to find

    a way to bring those to them. 3.
  41. DO NOT TRUNCA… Never!

  42. People work with the data: don’t block copy/paste and help

    them export the content if needed.
  43. Customization options can be useful, especially on productivity tools.
 Do

    your research to chose 
 smart defaults tough. 3.
  44. Every click counts on repeating tasks, to a certain point.

    4.
  45. People are not used to User Centered process. During research,

    they tend to express solutions. You will have to dig to find the needs. 5.
  46. “I need an export to excel button” she said…
 What

    she needed was to only see the active projects in the table. Filters!
  47. My advice, to grow as UX Researcher, in such environments

  48. Content might be here for a reason. But you are

    allowed to question it. 1.
  49. Start with the business process. Don’t try to “force” users

    into your ideal flow. 3.
  50. Find people to help you get familiar with the business,

    the jargon, BEFORE starting your research. 4.
  51. Document every piece of the puzzle. 5.

  52. Complexity is scary… Cut it down in smaller parts. 6.

  53. Analysis Asking for business help to take a closer look.

    Complexity Fear: how am I supposed to design that?? Solution Design Once everything clicks into place User Research Finding & understanding more of the puzzle.
  54. There is a big need for UX designers in such

    environments!