The People Behind IFS Cloud is a blog series meant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind IFS Cloud.
From developers and engineers to marketers, every week we’ll get to the heart of the team behind the launch of IFS Cloud so you can get to know them a little better and find out what makes them tick!
This week, meet Joyce Chow, Principal UX Designer at IFS. Joyce has been with IFS for four years and is based out of our office in Linköping, Sweden.
Let’s learn more about her.
Tell us about your role and your main responsibilities regarding IFS Cloud.
I’m a Principal UX Designer in the framework and user experience teams. We design user interface components – everything you see and interact with – which are used in turn by IFS business application teams to design the application.
Working as a designer in the framework for enterprise software is quite an unusual challenge because we are several layers removed from the actual end-users!
As a designer, my job is to be able to interpret complex requirements from many different stakeholders such as the technical team’s constraints, different product areas’ business requirements, customer wishes, and of course, end-users. I then distill this into a “simple,” intuitive design that makes everybody happy.
I design interactivity for visible things such as calendar controls and user feedback, to less visible things like how to search or navigate the application using your keyboard for efficiency and accessibility. My role also involves coaching other designers and creating training and documentation material. At the moment I’m driving the IFS Design System, which is a tool for us to scale design across the organization.
That sounds like a lot of work! What’s a common misconception about design?
A common misconception about design is that it’s something you do at the end to make it look pretty. Aesthetics are important, but the design is not just about how it looks, it’s about understanding how the product is used, in order to make design decisions to benefit the user.
The most important step in design is understanding the actual problem to be solved. As there are so many people involved in the design and development of IFS Cloud, each person may have a slightly different picture of the problem. That’s why it’s so important in my role to work closely with product managers, program managers, software engineers and other stakeholders, to be able to iterate on designs to bring us to a great solution.
Having worked on IFS Cloud, what gets you most excited about the solution?
It’s exciting to be a part of total rethinking and modernization of the user experience of complex software. Every day I get to learn something new.
Very cool! But, what exactly does user experience mean to you?
User experience is the quality.
Qualities of software can be personified like delightful, helpful, considerate, accessible, efficient. What quality is appropriate at the moment for that particular user? Some qualities are inappropriate in enterprise software, others are appropriate only sometimes.
Users aren’t looking to be entertained when using enterprise software, they require something that serves their needs unobtrusively. User experience is more than just the user interface, it is about providing something that matches or exceeds the user’s expectations.
As a designer, explain to us, what makes software easy to use?
Most business application users already know how to browse the web. IFS Aurena’s interface is designed based on common web interface patterns, building on the knowledge users already have. This makes it easier for new IFS Cloud users to get started using it. By using web interface patterns that users are familiar with, software becomes easy to use.
You mentioned IFS Aurena. How is IFS Aurena designed with employees and B2B users in mind?
Every user interface control involves input from many stakeholders with complex and sometimes conflicting requirements. My job is to advocate for the end-user through the design.
It’s about striking the right balance of providing user feedback and affordances (visual cues that make things like buttons look interactive) without being overly chatty or obtrusive. Again, the right level depends on the type of user who will be using that part of the application.
With the latest product release of IFS Cloud, we’ve offered even more appearance configuration options for customers to configure IFS Cloud for their B2B users.
In your opinion, what’s the coolest part about IFS Aurena?
For me, it was rewarding to be able to report time in the drag-and-drop calendar that I designed! It sounds like such a small thing, but attention to details like drag-and-drop interaction contributes to the overall user experience feeling seamless and problem-free.
What makes IFS Cloud a gamechanger for IFS customers?
I’d say it’s the truly responsive web experience that works on mobile.
Finally, if you were a business, why would you deploy IFS Cloud?
I may be biased, but I think we have a great user experience! And we are just getting started! IFS is really invested in design and we are continuously improving the user experience with every delivery. So, of course, I’d deploy IFS Cloud for the user experience.
Thank you to Joyce for taking the time to discuss her role in designing IFS Cloud.
Learn more about IFS Cloud here.
Do you have questions or comments?
We’d love to hear them so please leave us a message below.