We all know that hindsight is 20/20.
How many times have you looked back at something you’ve done in your career and thought, “That was stupid. Why did I do that?” Because you didn’t know better. Everyone makes mistakes, but (hopefully) we learn from them. In software development, this is especially true. When we do usability testing at Daxko, we’re trying to figure out what mistakes we’ve made in our software so that we can make them right. From one-on-one user interviews over GoToMeeting to in-person sessions like the ones at Daxko Reach, improving the experience for our users is top of mind for Daxko.
User feedback has pointed out out some silly things we’ve done. Sometimes, we’ll think we have a great idea for something to include in an app to only later realize maybe it wasn’t so genius after all. When we piloted the first version of Daxko Engage, we wanted to greet users on the home page with a short welcome video. I got “conned” into being the talking head (I’m not great on camera!). After spending all morning patiently watching me fumble my message to our new users, we finally got a decent minute and a half recorded. The Engage team was eager to get customer reactions to our touch of personality in the app. When we started doing usability testing later, however, we discovered that (drumroll) most of customers couldn’t even see the video (it was hosted on Vimeo, a site that most of our customers are blocked from visiting). Who knows how long that video would have stayed in production had we not seen it for ourselves on our customers’ screens during testing.
It’s also highlighted some features that we got backwards…like that time we thought we should require a comment for any tasks that Engage users wanted to mark as “done.” Whoops! Turns out that was a big headache for users, as they just wanted to be able to get the tasks off their list (and not have to type “Done” for every single one). I’m happy to report that today in Engage, users can mark tasks complete with a single click. Easy peasy.
From watching customers actually use Engage real-time, we also learned that “less isn’t always more.” The Engage product development team thought that it would be more efficient if the system automatically saved data when users were in the process of setting up an initiative workflow (versus having to click a Save button after entering the info for each step). It turns out that not having Save buttons actually made users a bit uneasy. They weren’t confident the system was actually saving their input. This uncertainty trumped any anticipated gains in efficiency, and so we ended up putting Save buttons on the interface.
It’s funny how the little things add up.
A bunch of small usability problems can really add up to a negative overall user experience. Doing usability testing on our products helps us find the small wins, the big losses, and everything in between. You can help Daxko make things easier to use by giving feedback on Daxko.com at this month’s Reach conference (you might even get a sneak peek at future product designs).