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The design process should be user-centric to help organizations improve the way people interact with technology. As part of this process, a team collects stakeholder and user requirements before the design and development phases begin. This allows for user feedback, which can help improve the design and correct initial flaws before the final product is introduced.
This process can encompass the following:
1. Business system assessments can call on industry knowledge and best practices to find issues and opportunities for improvement.
2. Usability testing can ask real or potential users to perform common tasks and identify problem areas.
Both methods can reveal insights and help improve a system’s design.
A well-thought-out solution can reduce customer-support needs and increase productivity. For example, a strong loan-mod system might pull in data from previous mortgages, minimizing data entry.
It also would be important to use terms familiar to modification officers and to make the consequence of each decision clear to users. Such a system also would need to support other users, including managers and compliance officers.
In the case of electronic mortgage applications, Web-based forms often are lengthy, difficult to understand, and ridden with bugs and glitches. On the other hand, when such a system uses terms users know and provides helpful information and tools that explain confusing concepts, users can complete the application or form without help.
Brokers who don’t appropriately consider the user experience of their technology systems risk losing customers.
Michael Blair is vice president of business development for Philadelphia-based Electronic Ink, an international design consultancy dedicated to improving the way people interact with technology, environments and one another.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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