When choosing communications and collaboration solutions, the customer experience (CX) is paramount, including a well-designed user interface (UI) to enable simple, intuitive collaboration to help people connect on their terms. A well-designed UI comprises all of the visual experiences necessary to interact with conferencing platforms – from screens to pages, buttons and icons – that drive business outcomes.
A less-than-stellar UI creates communication challenges, and the outcome can be a negative CX. This can culminate in frustrated employees, and IT projects being abandoned due to poor end-user adoption. As a result, collaboration stalls, productivity declines and outcomes falter.
A study by Harvard Business Review revealed that, of 82 senior managers across various industries, 71 percent said meetings are both unproductive and inefficient. The focus should be on making these meetings easier by improving the UI and enhancing the overall CX.
The Harvard Business Review report found that 39 percent of CIOs and IT professionals stated that technology makes it time consuming for employees to access business data and applications without IT help. Even if the conferencing platform does have all the functions that users need, time, money and effort can be wasted trying to find and effectively utilize features, such as recording and chat.
The challenge for CIOs/CTOs is to understand when, where and how their employees use communications and collaboration technologies in the workplace, and more importantly, which elements are critical for business outcomes, and which are not as important.
According to our research with Mobile World Live, 44% of respondents prefer to use their smartphones for unified communication and collaboration services. More and more, modern digital workers are mobile-first end users, so the mobile customer experience should be a priority for IT decision-makers to factor into their project strategy. Technology must be simple, seamless, and the UI should be customized for specific devices, including desktop, tablet and mobile devices, to be truly effective across an organization.
Regardless of the preferred access channel, accessing an online meeting should be simple and quick. An effective UI should enable end users to easily navigate, access capabilities and perform intuitively to ensure business outcomes. By not factoring in these elements, end-users’ experience and productivity are adversely affected.
To solve these challenges, IT leaders should employ regular user testing by both design and product development teams to improve the design and experience of collaboration tools. Ongoing iterative user testing enables teams to make incremental improvements to achieve the required CX goals. Techniques such as cadence mapping inform us how usage across different functionality, like chatting or scheduling, becomes simpler and more intuitive for the end-user.
With a thorough testing process, enterprises would know that people regularly use their smartphones to log into meetings during their daily commutes. As a result, the focus should be on creating UI elements that are larger and more readable, especially the audio control buttons. By developing an easily accessible, simplified design, users can quickly tap the functions required to access their meetings with one click.Only by working on the UI, will the CX be improved to prompt greater business outcomes. As a result, enterprise-wide adoption will increase, delivering a more positive ROI. Collaboration tools must be easily navigable, simple to access and provide a superior CX in alignment with team behaviours and preferences, resulting in greater employee engagement and organizational productivity that drives greater business outcomes.
Edited by Erik Linask