What is so important about user experience and IT?
User experience could be as simple as UX, I guess. However these words, in a broader context, eventually determine the ongoing salary and potentially the happiness of IT professionals, even if they fervently wish it hadn’t. I have seen whole systems and investment programmes falter and fail, whole teams lose their funding due to a lack of understanding of the impact of user experience.
What is user experience, if it is so important then? In a nutshell it is the perception side of the well known axiom that “perception is reality”. In other words it is what users feel and think and appreciate about their work environment. It typically manifest as background noise in a business. Where the user experience is good, people are focused on their jobs with little or no distraction. Where the user experience is bad, people lose focus on their jobs and start to complain about their circumstances. They lose productivity and can become cynical. They quite naturally reflect this up to management.
For the executive, user experience is key to achieving outcomes that require their teams to pursue corporate goals. User experience is a part of what can be described as successful management. It reflects strongly on a manager’s effectiveness as a team leader. I have yet to see an executive who would not act decisively in the face of a negative user experience amongst her staff, and keep her own job for long.
Yet the connection between user experience and change in the IT landscape is more often than not simply not recognised. User experience could be seen as a barometer of how well your IT is performing but for the ambitious operator it could become another lever in his arsenal in shifting teams towards productivity and strategic outcomes.
Want help in adding this dynamic as a tool into your toolbox? Let’s talk.