Combining customer listening with data analysis and processes from different business areas is key to designing digital products and digitizing processes successfully. This combination forms the basis of Data Experience, a comprehensive philosophy to design websites and apps adapted to businesses' needs and guarantee good results through continuous improvement.
Photo: Data Experience is a comprehensive philosophy that combines people-centered and data-centered design. Credit: Pixabay
By Opinno Research Center
So that viewers don’t waste time choosing their next series, Netflix suggests a title according to their tastes in the Play Something option. For its part, LinkedIn adapts to discreet users by allowing them to choose whether they want their contacts to be informed of their job changes. Fans of Instagram stories don’t even lift a finger to explore them: they automatically follow each other on their smartphones.
Taking care of user experience design, as these three successful platforms have done, is critical for companies. 88% of customers consider the experience a company provides to be as important as its products and services, according to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report. In addition, 40% of the 1,800 executives surveyed in a recent Harvard Business Review analysis say their organization will increase spending on customer experience.
For companies to deliver useful, simple, and engaging digital products to users that help them meet their business objectives, the design process must consider all possible perspectives. That is the basis of Data Experience, a philosophy driven by Opinno that integrates both a company’s external and internal information to ensure the success of the final product.
“We must not only look at the consumer, but also inward: the processes that the company has implemented, its portfolio of products and services, the technologies it uses and, of course, data analysis,” explains Laura García, Opinno’s Data Experience Manager. A global view that can be applied to the design of any digital platform: a corporate website, an intranet, a digital payment service, e-commerce, or a voice assistant.
Between user focus and data analysis
In recent years, the creation of digital products has followed the premises of human-centered design (design centered on people). This approach encompasses innovation philosophies such as design thinking, which, in essence, proposes integrating user needs into design. Despite the advantages of these disciplines, applying them alone can lead to failure. “Some companies spend months listening to users for product conceptualization, but ignore internal feedback and only become aware of problems when development begins,” says García.
“We must not look only to the consumer, but also within the company”
For this reason, Data Experience is at the intersection between human-centered design and data-driven design. In addition, it proposes that not only the Innovation department should take on the design, but that others should also collaborate to speed up the work: “Integrating all areas that are involved in the development of a digital product, from Technology to Business to Legal, helps prevent mistakes. In the long run, it is much more efficient to consider everyone involved.”
To integrate the Data Experience philosophy into product design, companies must rely on a multidisciplinary team that fosters co-creation. User experience (UX) experts, professionals with a business consulting background, software architects, data scientists and digital marketing experts must collaborate to design and ensure the subsequent success of the digital solution.
“Integrating all areas that are involved in the development of a digital product helps prevent errors”
Although the philosophy is applied throughout the design process, it is of particular importance in the initial research phase to conceptualize the product, as well as in the measurement once it has been launched to users. During the first stage of the research, Opinno conducts analysis in four different areas:
Technologies and previous digital products. “The sooner we know the technologies that are being used in the company, the sooner we can know if the proposed design will make sense,” stresses the expert.
Processes. Through workshops, processes are mapped step by step from both our customer’s perspective and internal perspective. For example, all the forms that the user must fill out in a purchase are determined and it is established to which department and in what format this information should arrive.
Data available. Data can come from platforms such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, which collect information about user behaviour on the digital products that the company already has, but also from CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms, which record sales results, or from customer service channels, which are very close to users, their concerns, and problems. Depending on the nature of the data, visualization tools such as PowerBI can be used to draw conclusions.
Users and environment. Research techniques such as interviews, surveys, or direct observation of customer behaviour in their environment help to understand their needs.
Thanks to this combined analysis, it is possible to better identify the challenges faced by the company, the type of digital product that is best suited to its case, the target audience to be addressed or the features to be included.
Photo: To avoid mistakes when creating a digital product, it is advisable to consider the internal processes of the companies. Credit: Unplash
Analysis of results for further improvement
Once the research phase is complete, the product is conceptualised: a first solution is sketched and once approved by the different departments of the company, it becomes a prototype that is developed and refined until the final launch. In all these phases, user and concept tests must also be carried out, which are usually moderated by an expert in-person or virtually through tools such as UserZoom and Maze.
Nor does the work end with the launch of the digital product. “In many cases there is a focus on the user in the early stages of design, but we must not forget to re-engage the user and collect data continuously after the launch. A culture of measurement and constant improvement should be implemented of what has been developed,” García recommends.
Photo: Product design does not end with its launch: results must be measured, and improvement must be made. Credit: Unsplash
Companies are also advised to adopt different ways to measure their results, both through specific conversion rate optimization (CRO) tools and qualitative tests with users. In addition, it is advisable to include a channel through which consumers can suggest improvements.
An approach with proven success
Opinno has already followed this philosophy to help several companies to design digital products, such as the portal for employees and agents of Grupo Santalucía or the new payment system of Metro de Sevilla. In addition, it is collaborating with The Bridge to boost Data Experience training.
“Data Experience allows companies to attract new customers, drive engagement and build customer loyalty,” summarizes Opinno’s expert in this discipline. A comprehensive approach to ensure that users enjoy a satisfactory experience from the first click.
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