by   |    |  Estimated reading time: 3 minutes  |  in IFS Cloud, User Experience   |  tagged , , , , ,

The “The customer is always right” slogan originated in retail and has dominated our society for more than 100 years. Users, on the other hand, were often blamed for not being knowledgeable enough to use the system or the product the way it was intended. It is a bit unfair, don’t you think?

At IFS, we have to make a distinction between our customers and users. Customers are companies and corporations that pay for the solution we create, and the users are employees who will be affected by our solution in their professional lives. Both are important but in different ways.

I represent the UX product group at IFS, and our goal is that IFS Cloud is not only packed with functionality but, most importantly, provides a delightful experience to our users while helping them achieve their daily goals. Talking to our users is important to us, but it is equally crucial that we talk to the right users. Involving the wrong users can result in design solutions that don’t align with the actual needs, preferences, or workflows. This can lead to frustration, inefficiency, and reluctance to adopt the product. Identifying the right users should be one of the first steps in creating effective and usable solutions, but it can be tricky.

Who are the right users?

Our customers come from a variety of industries and countries, and their employees are all very different people. And there are so many of them – we can’t possibly talk to everyone. However, there are representative users. Commonly, representative users are good representatives of their functional roles within their organizations who have strong domain knowledge and understanding of the scope and objectives.

So, to start with, we get to know our representative users and create user personas – archetypical users whose goals and characteristics represent the needs of a target audience for the product. Then, we can go back to our representative users, who closely match the characteristics of specific user personas when we need to validate design decisions, uncover usability issues, and gather insights that can improve the overall user experience. In summary, user personas are fictional representations obtained from user research data, while representative users are real individuals selected to participate in research activities based on the characteristics outlined in the personas.

Are the right users always right?

No, only sometimes. Relying solely on the notion that users are always right and should be unquestionably listened to is both flawed and impractical. Instead, our focus should shift to observation. We need to see users engaging with our designs, bypassing the need for their potentially biased opinions. By observing their actions and understanding the underlying motivations, we gain a true understanding of our users and their behaviors.

So here we are, the right users are not always right, but they will ultimately guide our design decisions in the right direction.

The UX group is driving an initiative to improve the accessibility of IFS Cloud, and the right users we are looking for at the moment are those who use screen readers in their work. If you are an NVDA or JAWS user, please join UX Insights Champions – a user research program driven by our user insights.

Join UX Insights Champions Now!

Please find more information here.

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