Differentiation Through User Experience

Patrick Püntener
29.01.18 09:38

User experience is the next competitive battleground for differentiation when it comes to attract human resources. While startups have the advantage of orienting themselves around the employee from the beginning, many enterprise-level businesses have entrenched structures and processes that make it difficult for them to truly put the user first. They need to disrupt themselves to focus on the user experience and transform their businesses.

In this post, we are looking at how to redefine the user experience of your digital workplace and thus unlocking real business value associated with aligning around your employees, customers and business partners, regardless of your internal structures or industry nuances. This is redefining user experience from a single tool like an intranet experience to the entirety of tools used throughout your organization. In today’s “new” definition of user experience:
 

Experience is a fundamental business differentiator

Research data shows that each organization in nearly every industry stands to gain upside revenue from the efficiency increase associated with great user experiences. These figures are causing organizations to launch large-scale efforts to rethink the experience as a business differentiator.
 

Single experiences are measured in the context of a broader outcome

User experience used to be focused on simply looking at user interface design and interaction design within a single tool, but today it is defined as the sum of all the interactions across a multitude of applications and how that affects the overall business efficiency.
 

Communication leaders have more influence across the entire organization

We are seeing a consolidation of ownership of all or most of the communication channels under one leadership role (typically in communications). This marks a shift from siloed organizations owning different elements of internal and external communication.
 

Ongoing discovery of unmet needs is driving continual innovation

User experience innovation is not a static thing that can be achieved at one given point in time. Continually delivering and measuring improved experiences helps organizations understand where they are not meeting needs. These moments become the innovations that drive future differentiation.
 

Data is enhancing the art of great experiences

With the increasing expectation that experiences be personalized, and with an increasing loss of control over (cloud-based) tools, data is critical to connect your tools to your business goals and governance/compliance requirements. Many organizations are developing their own strategies to make sense of data across the entire business to enable better decision making.
 

Technology is playing a front-and-center role

Fluxx plays a critical role in helping bring together disparate experiences and in delivering more contextually relevant content. We are increasingly seeing corporate communications and IT working closely together to connect technologies to allow measurement of data across different platforms.
 

Opportunities for User Experience Innovation
 

1. Reorganizing around user behaviors

Reorganizing around user behavior requires knowing what those behaviors are...

Internal barriers (like disconnects between teams or an overly product-centric culture) can get in the way of an optimal user experience. But breaking down these barriers and better align around user behaviors with a top-down approach is difficult, costly and takes a lot of time. Strategies are often illustrative or based on intuition.

With Fluxx, we focus on two key aspects to facilitate agile and constant reorganization:

Support technology freedom: users can work with the tools of their choice, we generate the common context independently of the content source

Improve information governance: organizations stay in control of their data, since content belonging to the same context can be identified across tools

By loosely coupling independent tools, we are enabling a bottom-up evolution, avoiding a constant battle between strategic or visionary goals and the real-world needs of the simple worker.
 

2. Pioneering new experiences

To address an unmet need involves pioneering entirely new experiences, products or services. Drivers of new services include:

  • The opening of new channels or business models that change traditional ways of interacting with a customer or business partner
  • New technologies that enable new types of interactions that did not previously exist
  • Changes in user behavior
  • The intersection of digital and physical tools, which creates new opportunities to connect previously disconnected processes

New digital services and tools can be pioneered thanks to our ability to easily embrace technologies as explained earlier. Traditionally, the organization is segmented into interactions that are important for a channel or business unit. Pioneering new services creates inconsistency for the user, which is difficult for the business to track or fix. It also silos data within isolated applications, making cross-organizational insights difficult to find and overall business value hard to quantify.

To address this issue, we are loosely coupling new services with existing ones by leveraging our global context and unified user experience that focuses across tools to deliver content and business value.

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