What is the most suitable designing strategy to develop a user-friendly interface and an outstanding service experience? How do emotions affect in designing a service which is mainly HCI-based?
Pilvia offers a service which is HCI-based (human-computer interaction). On that basis, a big part of communication takes place on chat and email. We have had a plenty of fruitful conversations with our users. This way we usually find out, how our customers experience the service. Since we want to provide an outstanding experience for Pilvia’s customers, it was necessary to take a closer look, how our customers experience every step of the user journey.
A learning lesson from our Spanish customers
We executed a qualitative research about the UX (user experience) of Pilvia. Liisa, our communications trainee, interviewed nine of our customers from Spain. This cluster was chosen, since a remarkable part of Pilvia’s foreign customers are Spanish. Because UX design requires being modest and learning to learn, we wanted to learn insights from our Spanish users.
Since there is no single definition of the term ‘user experience ‘, we asked our customers, how would they explain it. Combining the answers with earlier studies and theories of user experience, Liisa came up with a fresh definition for UX:
"User experience (UX) is a process, starting from designing stage of the service, in which the aim is to satisfy users’ needs, ending to real consumption situation, in which the balance of pragmatic and hedonic attributes of the service, along with the intuitive and interactive elements of the interface are expressed in subjective emotions."
That’s UX in a nutshell.
Emotions don’t have a language, they are universal
Next, it was time to figure it out how UX consists in Pilvia. Liisa inquired what kind of expectations our customers had for the service. A clear, easy-to-use, effective and reliable interface, which allows user to be creative and develop oneself professionally were mentioned.
"For me, Pilvia has been a way of growing professionally", Isabel describes her experience with the service. "The service is so simple. I think anyone, from anywhere, who works with websites and hosting, can use the service.", she continues.
Elena sums up her opinion about the service: "The service increases creativity, because it is so simple to use."
When delving deeper into the definition of UX, emotions come along. In addition to the service attributes valued by our customers, we wanted to understand, how they feel and experience the use of the service. An emotion, mentioned the most often by our customers, was satisfaction.
Satisfaction of needs, satisfaction for simple login and carefree use of the service. In addition, the help provided by employees through chat, made the customers feel happy, relieved and grateful.
"At the first time, when I used the service, I was surprised how good the service really was. I was really satisfied", Elena concludes.
Likewise, Nacho highlights the feeling of satisfaction: "My expectations have been fulfilled. My expectations are based on what I read about the service. I decided to give it a try. I made three websites and I was really satisfied."
Isabel had experienced many positive emotions while using the service: "I have used the chat several times and it has been very helpful. I wrote and got an answer in a few minutes. They are very nice people, very helpful and very well prepared. I’m grateful." "I enjoy and it gives me a feeling of peacefulness and confidence with my work. And satisfaction as well," she continues.
It is worth noting that hedonic attributes had a stronger connection with positive emotions, meanwhile problems with pragmatic attributes led to negative emotions. For example, outstanding usage experience and self-realization (hedonic attributes) were sources for highly positive emotions. On the other hand, a necessity to repeat the same mechanical functions (pragmatic attribute) over and over again, led to negative emotions, e.g. disappointment.
What did we learn?
A feedback from the interviews was mostly positive, actually extremely positive. We found out that our customers enjoy the user-friendly interface, the fast and beneficial support service, along with the high information security solutions. The interviews weren’t only a step for designing a better UX, but also a great change to get to know few of our customers. We hope to keep interacting with our customers even more in the future!
The goal for designing UX is about creating an interface that works precisely as the users expect while producing positive emotions. As a result, from positive UX in Pilvia, can be pointed out the following consequences: customer satisfaction, word-of-mouth and relationship of trust.
To sum up, here are few tips to aim for a positive UX in practice:
- Listen to the customers' needs.
- Keep communicating with them.
- Involve the customers into planning and developing the service.
- Make sure the interface is easy to use.
- Keep in mind that UX is also interactions outside the interface.
- Think and act like a service user, not a service owner.
- Understand emotional intelligence.
- Keep the whole team focused on the user.
- Keep developing the service – UX can always get better.
If a service doesn't meet a user’s requirements, the user will certainly look for an alternative. It goes without saying that UX is an important concept for a service that is planned to stand out.
"Sometimes I feel like thank God, I found Pilvia. Pilvia was everything I was looking for. I’m really happy and grateful", Isabel concludes her experience with Pilvia. This quotation is a great goal to pursue, when designing positive UX.
If you want to discuss more about UX or the findings of the research executed for Pilvia, feel free to contact me: [email protected]