UX is short for User Experience and is essentially about how a person feels when using a product or service. As well as the core usability of the product, we look for how easy it is to use the system, efficiency in performing a task, the general design and user accessibility. The UI, short for User Interface, of a product plays a large part in the overall user experience. User Interface design mainly focuses on the visual elements, presentation and interactivity of a product.
In an ideal project where budget and resources are available, there are a number of typical activities and outcomes a UX/UI designer would carry out before and during the development process:
The benefits of these activities promote collaboration with stakeholders in the project and provide a clearer vision. It helps to visualise and find simple solutions to complex business challenges. The agile process in which these activities are conducted means that we can validate our design solutions much quicker and in some cases, spot problems much earlier, which in turn will minimise risks for the whole project. The most important aspect is that collaborating with our customers means we have a user-centered approach in designing our products.
We recognise that not only do our products need to look good, they need to feel good. As with most procurement processes across various business environments, customers tend to look for something that not only visually appeals to them and is functionality-rich, but that is simple and easy to use or easy to navigate. So, essentially, UX and UI are important to us because they are important to our customers. I am sure the same can be said for most software solution providers, with UX and UI playing such a key role in the product development lifecycle. Orchard has taken a customer focused approach in designing products that meet customer’s needs yet are flexible enough to adapt when those needs change.
Our role at Orchard is to understand our users and their needs, making sure we build products for the right target audience; ensuring that our user has a positive engagement with our products at every touch point. Acting as the user’s voice during the product development process, A well designed UX engages the user and encourages the user to keep coming back, and that is what we strive to achieve.
A product with a good UX and UI may have more benefits than you might think. It can help to achieve an increase in productivity through efficiency, reduce training time and costs, reduce maintenance costs and improve staff retention through job satisfaction. In today’s climate, with the increasing workloads that many employees face, our focus is to make it easy for our customers to use our solutions and to alleviate some of the pressure that they often have to deal with, by providing them with these benefits.
Here are a few areas that our teams are working on: