August 29th, 2014

Why the workplace needs a good User Experience too

Every employee is unique

A recent report by Accenture has identified a closing gap between what users are looking for from an online experience in their personal life and now workplace, as digital advances blur the boundary between everyday and enterprise use. The study identifies four types of worker, based on analysing personal behavioural traits with digital, known as: the Free Spirit, the Go-Getter, the Enthusiast, and the Data Junkie. Translating this to the workplace means that four people doing the exact same job could have entirely different ways and expectations of using the same tools and, as the study insinuates, employers who don’t adapt are at risk of losing valuable staff members.

Risk – who should be making the change

The notion of workers looking for work-based applications that align with their personal preferences is industry agnostic. However, the insurance sector is already named as ‘high risk’ for staff turnover – anticipated to be as high as 50% over the next 15 years – so companies of this nature need to be particularly aware of designing for a broader spectrum of user and providing an all-round good user experience.

Enthusiast

The four types of worker 

The first group – the Free Spirits – covers the average 21st century customer who has a penchant for consuming information via multiple platforms on the go, in the format they choose and at the rate they need it.

Appealing to the Free Spirit requires his or her employer to first understand when and how they’re using their devices. With this information they can begin to shift their traditional system to incorporate responsive, progressive and technologically sound gadgets and gizmos that help these workers fly.

The Go-Getter knows exactly what he or she needs to do to get a job done and unlike the Free Spirit who likes to dip and dive around devices, will always opt for the path of least resistance to get there.

Devices that enable them to complete tasks quickly and with limited physical interaction with the device itself – such as voice recognition, GPS and NFC – will appeal the most.

The third type of worker – incidentally, the one I relate to most – is the Enthusiast.

This person’s attention span is short and they require a high level of stimulation and collaboration. The Enthusiast is highly skilled, just more visually led, so a social, interactive way of working such as using gamification is the way to engage this person.

Data Junkie

Last is the Data Junkie who has little patience for fancy add-ons or graphics to give them what they need, focussing solely on extracting the data, metrics and measurables.

Providing a succinct, orderly dashboard is imperative to helping this person’s analytical mind make sense of it all and sweat the assets. Forget the pictures, forgo the games and form a sustainable, easy to use, data driven system instead.

What to do next

Of course, to build each system bespoke to a particular type of user would be expensive and impossible to achieve, especially given that as research continues more user types may be unearthed.

General picture

However, using one system that has been built with consideration for the four personas can only ever lead to a higher level of staff satisfaction, productivity and efficiency in the workplace. For this reason, companies should consider prioritising this on their agenda for business development.

About the author

Kristina is responsible for new business activity for the studio and making sure the group are up to date with the latest news in digital.
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