UX Why? What? A Glimpse of User Experience for B2B Industry

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1 UX Why? What? A Glimpse of User Experience for B2B Industry

2 UXUS The UXUS (User Experience and Usability in Complex Systems) research programme aims at developing and improving the competitiveness of the Finnish metals and engineering industry. The programme challenges current products, services, routines and organization culture by introducing user experience thinking for company operations. UXUS is one research programme of the Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster (FIMECC). A Glimpse of UX for B2B industry - Issue 1 Editorial team Virpi Roto, Anssi Smedlund, Stefania Passera and Maaria Nuutinen Contributions Maarit Heikkinen, Hannu Karvonen, Hannamaija Määttä, and many others from UXUS programme Layout & graphics: Joona Elo Photos of uxus members: Teemu Riihelä Contact person Maaria Nuutinen - Uxus program manager

3 UX Why? Contents End user becoming important in B2B industry 6 UX Definitions 8 Why should B2B companies care about UX? 10 Why are B2B companies interested in UX? 12 UX as a business factor 14 A wow effect or a relationship? 16 Usability vs. UX 18 UX vs. Customer Experience 20 Recipe for great UX? 22 UX Targets 24 Brand experience - basis for UX targets 26 UX dictionary 28 UX Links & Bibliography 30 Attribution You must attribute this work in the manner specified by the authors or licensor (but not in any way that suggests they endorse you or your use of the work). Non-commercial You may not use this work for commercial purposes. No Derivative Works You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

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5 UX Welcome to the world of UX! This booklet aims to provide a glimpse of user experience (UX) for B2B companies, with a special focus on the metals and engineering industry. Issue 1 unwraps the meaning of UX, whereas issue 2 will offer guidance for working towards superlative UX. The material in this issue is based on insights furnished by company representatives and academics working at an FIMECC User experience and usability research programme called UXUS. The booklet is intended to inspire its readers to think differently about user experience in their work UX matters and will become a key component of success in the future. The content in this booklet has been simplified and condensed in order to create positive energy, provoke thinking and encourage digging deeper into the wonderful world of UX. While exploring the following pages, remember: it s all about the experience.

6 End user becoming important in B2B industry In today s business-to-business (B2B) environment, the end user is hardly considered the centre of attention in product design it is the client or their client that takes care of end users experience. The first B2B companies placing end users towards the centre are those moving towards solutions businesses (e.g. Kone) or service-dominant logic (IBM). One thing this entails is talking about UX (user experience), and not only CX (customer experience). User is the center of multidisciplinary UX UX experts come from various fields. When they talk about UX, they often highlight different topics, all of which are important. Psychologists talk about emotions, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) specialists talk about interaction, Designers talk about aesthetics and Marketing people talk about exceeding expectations. Whatever their background is, the discussion tends to circulate around users thoughts and feelings the user is at the centre of UX work. 6

7 UX HCI Pricing Economics & Marketing What? Usability Value Context User interface Utility Brand image Delight Need Exceeding expectations Pleasure Emotional bonding Attitude Aesthetics Novelty Co-experience Psychology Wow Trust Behavior Emotions Fun Design Meaning 7

8 UX Definitions There are more than 30 extant definitions of user experience, as UX experts coming from different fields emphasize different things. The simplest definition comes from Wikipedia: User Experience (UX) is the way a user feels about using a product, service, or system. - UX definition from Wikipedia - The UXUS programme studies UX in the context of B2B in the metals and engineering industry, where products and services are designed to support the operations of customer companies. Users have a central role, especially at large industrial productions sites, and thus, focusing on UX can be a source of innovation in product development. Good UX in this context results in more motivated and satisfied employees, and makes it easier to attract the best people to work for a company. We believe this has a long-term positive impact on customer companies business success. In UXUS, we define UX at work as follows. User experience (UX) at work is the way a person feels about using a product, service, or system in a work context, and how this shapes the image of oneself as a professional. Although we are interested in the relation between the person and the piece of design we are studying, person s internal and physical state, all system properties, as well as the whole context of use have an effect on the user experience. Want to learn more? A collection of UX definitions: 8

9 UX Examples of definitions addressing the different perspectives on UX Human Computer Interaction A consequence of a user s internal state, the characteristics of the designed system and the context within which the interaction occurs Hassenzahl & Tractinsky 2006 economics All aspects of the end-user s interaction with the company, its services, and its products Nielsen Norman Group What? design The quality of experience a person has when interacting with a specific design. Uxnet, online psychology The entire set of affects that is elicited by the interaction between a user and a product including (aesthetic experience) (experience of meaning) (emotional experience) Desmet & Hekkert

10 Why should B2B companies care about UX? UXUS brings together researchers from the core disciplines engaged with UX: Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction, Economics, and Design. They all share an interest in improving UX in the metals and engineering industry, although their approaches are different. Marko Seppänen Tampere University of Technology Marko Seppänen Tampere University of Technology Sources of competitiveness are becoming scarce resources user experience offers Finnish companies a chance of survival in global marketplace. Our excellent technological knowhow must be turned into products and services that customers distinguish from rivals offerings even great technologies will not survive in competition alone. UX brings a twist that makes the difference. Pertti Saariluoma University of Jyväskylä Most of the time, user experience is considered a phenomenon related to customer products. However, people make investment decisions in industrial equipment as well. These decisions are not only about the quality of products, but also brand images, values and mental acceptance. Therefore it is important that user experience be considered as valuable in industrial equipment as well. The UXUS programme brings together our country s top talent to develop a UX mindset. UX must not be neglected in companies. Pertti Saariluoma University of Jyväskylä 10

11 UX Maaria Nuutinen VTT Maaria Nuutinen VTT Usability has proved to be a central success factor in information and communication technology. User experience refers not only the desirability of products and services, but also to larger organizational principles. I believe that UX is a key to success for the Finnish metals and engineering industries. Understanding the experiences of the user and the reality of where the user lives may be a critical factor that help overcoming barriers of different competence areas & technologies in the industry. The ability to step into the shoes of the user and see the world through his/her eyes is a strength that unites professionals, suppliers and customers to work towards a common goal. Why? Leena Norros VTT Communicating the message of positive user experience tells a story about how a company recognizes the values, needs and future hopes of its users in designing products and services. In our studies of work psychology, my research team and I have learned that user experience integrates with employees sense of professional achievement, and provides each member with a feeling that his/her tools are an important part of him/her self. Leena Norros VTT Rick Schifferstein Delft University of Technology Rick Schifferstein Delft University of Technology Almost all human activities are connected to experience. By focusing on experience during the design process, instead of on problems or products, we bring design back to its essence: creating new, engaging, pleasant and useful experiences for people. Because, in the end, experience is what it s all about. Experience-driven innovation helps companies create appropriate interactions with all stakeholders. The product delivered to clients, contact with service providers, communication with authorities, relationships with employees, and responding to consumer worries are some of the ways people experience the company s brand values. They are all opportunities to communicate what the company stands for. 11

12 Why are B2B companies interested in UX? User experience (UX) is traditionally discussed in relation to consumer products and services, such as web sites and mobile phones. It may sound like a crazy idea to design for experience in the metal and engineering industries, especially when the user plays no role in the sales process. So we asked UXUS programme partner companies why they believe UX is important in this context. Iiro Lindborg Rolls-Royce Marine Iiro Lindborg Rolls-Royce Marine The user experience, and understanding its effects throughout our organisation, is one key to success, all the way from the beginning of the sales process through to the end of a product s lifecycle, and even after that. We only have one chance to make a first impression, and user experience is present in everything we do. If we do not focus on the user s experience in all areas, we cannot differentiate ourselves from others. Kero Uusitalo Rocla We believe that investments in usability and user experience will bring substantial added value to our business, and will eventually show in the bottom line and improve our competitiveness. Kero Uusitalo Rocla 12

13 UX Matti Nurminen Fastems Matti Nurminen Fastems Human beings are an important factor in improving productivity through factory automation. If employees develop an emotional bond with their working environment, productivity will increase. By investing in user experience, we can create the world s best working environment within the metals and engineering industry. Why? Johannes Tarkiainen Konecranes Konecranes is a world leader in the domain of lifting equipment and services. We engage in continuous research and development for all our business areas. User experience design improves user-friendliness, safety, productivity and market differentiation. An example of this is our new crane cabin series, where improvements in user experience result in substantial benefits for the customer. Johannes Tarkiainen Konecranes Hannu Paunonen Metso Automation In a B2B context, people in the research and development departments rarely have a direct connection with users. Therefore, understanding the delivery processes and different situations of use requires special attention. Gathering feedback from customers may be enough to design an indifferent product, but true competitive advantage is created only when it is possible to go deep into the work of users, with empathy, and transfer this understanding to products, and to the demand-supply chain. Good product brings an effortless sense of certainty and unexpected positive feelings. A great product surprises its user positively. Good usability and fluent supplies communicate that the supplier appreciates its customers. Hannu Paunonen Metso Automation 13

14 UX as a business factor Advances in technology have made machinery more complex, and the role of users has changed during recent years. Users play an increasingly important role in the fluidity of production, which is why there is a need for products designed with a user-centred focus. Users are a valuable asset to customers, and investing in better UX enables users to perform their work tasks more efficiently. This affects the productivity of a client company. UX as Booster of Sales A central challenge within the Finnish metal and engineering industry is that competitors have similar basic products with similar functions. Market success requires standing out from the competition, and UX is an innovative way to differentiate, alongside with quality and reliability. Products enabling better UX improve ergonomics, job satisfaction, and ultimately increase efficiency. Users are seen as important providers of feedback, which incorporates them into the sales process. Comfort and work wellbeing have straight effect on the productivity Customer We happened to walk by this new cabin. It was from a completely different planet. Our drivers compared it to the ones we were planning to order, and as a result, we changed our order. Customer UX as Brand Recognition Products designed to support the company brand create positive customer experience and strengthen the brand image. Modern products with a Wow-factor draw attention from both customers and users, and increase interest in products. 14

15 UX It s not about technical details; the operator should come first. People who operate cranes work for twenty years or more. Cabins are their offices. Customer Our new cabin emphasises our innovativeness and supports the fact that even in this old industry sector, we can do things differently. R&D Why? One thing is for sure: we will not go back to the old cabins. Now they have caught up to this century. Customer The customer was like Wow!. It made him feel that this was a serious company, and that, beyond just giving them brochures and offers, we really offer something new. Sales The cabin is a part of our brandthinking: Now our products are starting to look like Konecranes. Marketing 15

16 A wow effect or a relationship? Your UX strategy may aim for a momentary positive surprise or long-term engagement or both. A wow effect grabs people s attention and can be very effective when introducing new products. In a B2B environment, an initial wow effect may be the only memorable experience the buyer will have of the product. However, in the B2B industry, a customer relationship is often a longterm one. Products and services need to engage the customer over the years. Before a new deal is done, clients evaluate the long-term UX of previous products. Good UX over time is a key factor affecting customer loyalty. Time spans of UX People always have expectations for products, and UX is partially determined by how a product meets the expectations or provides unexpected positive experiences. The client and the end user have often very different expectations of a product, but you need to please them both. Managing initial expectations and Anticipated UX, before actual interaction takes place is tricky, however, and this is where marketing people play an important role. UX professionals aim at making the Interaction UX with a product or service pleasurable, even delightful. They also focus on the most valuable features of a product or service, so that the long-term UX will be as engaging as possible. 16

17 UX Anticipated UX I do not want to learn to use the new system What? New Product Interaction UX Wow, this new system is actually handy and fun! Long-term UX I would not go back to the old system. I like my work more now More about UX time spans 17

18 Usability vs. UX One of the many interpretations of UX is a form of usability: good UX means the product is easy and efficient to use. This is often considered a narrow view of UX, however. UX professionals generally see usability as one component of UX, as a hygiene factor that minimizes dissatisfaction. But it is the other, emotional part of UX that acts as a motivator and generates satisfaction. According to one popular view, UX is best when person s be-goals and do-goals are fulfilled. Be-goals are related to personal values, like, I want to be competent, independent, a good spouse, popular, or safe. Based on these be-goals, I generate do-goals: take an e-learning class to become more competent, choose a workplace with flexible work hours to be more independent, create reminders for my spouse s birthday, etc. Usability serves the do-goals by making products employed for such tasks easy and efficient to use. It is rare that usability suffices to fulfil be-goals. Usability is about making interaction with the tools intuitive and efficient. When usability is great, the user can fully focus on the task, not the tool. At work, usability is one of the prerequisites to enable a flow experience a state of full concentration in and enjoyment of the work. However, UX experts need to also design qualities and functionality that best serve the fulfilment of be-goals. UX is about providing positive experiences when UX is great, the user treats the tool as a trusted and valued workmate and never thinks of exchanging it for a competitor s product. When the tool has this status, small usability problems are forgiven. 18

19 UX When ease of use ruins UX We often assume that making a product easier to use always improves UX. However, when we design for expert users, this is not always the case. In an UX-driven design course, students wanted to improve the feelings of competence of hoist operators. The most competent operators can lift a load from ground without swinging, so students wanted to provide this feeling of competence for less experienced operators as well. The students designed a new interaction for hoist control: instead of moving the hoist manually, the operator need only point at the place where he wants the hoist to move, and the hoist goes there. It is thus much easier to get the hoist at the right place to minimize the load swinging. Even less experienced operators can feel competent. Hoist arrives above Point at target What? When this concept was evaluated, the results were surprising: the feeling of competence was not strong at all. Some operators even felt stupid, because the interaction was too simple. They were no longer in control of the hoist movement, which actually made them feel insecure instead of competent. Load swinging prevented! When designing for good UX, we need to find out what kind of product qualities would serve that UX best. Making the tool dead easy to use did not make expert users feel more competent in this case: competence for them is rather about mastering challenges. Hertzberg s motivation-hygiene theory: Flow experience: Be-goals and do-goals at work: 19

20 UX vs. Customer Experience While designing products and services with users in mind is of paramount importance in terms of differentiation and success, it is also crucial to design how a company interacts with its customers and what sort of experience is provided during each of these interactions. In a business-to-business setting, users and customers are almost never the same persons: how do we provide a positive experience to both groups? On the other hand, if we want to improve the UX of a paper machine delivery project, the line between customers and users becomes blurry. Customer Experience for B2B Qualities such as competence, trustworthiness, helpfulness, innovation and carefulness can be embedded in every interaction with the customer. It is possible to do so by designing processes, activities, tools and behaviours that promote ease and pleasantness of doing business with your company. This is what Customer Experience is about: having the best product is not enough, if customers do not like dealing with your company. Improving Customer Experience through user-friendly B2B contracts Contracts and contracting are the interface between firms who want to do business together. Unfortunately, contracts are complex, hard to read, and do not really provide a positive experience to their readers. Most business people consider them a necessary evil. In UXUS we aim to challenge this convention, and by considering contract negotiators and readers as contract users we took up the challenge to design contracts that are easier and faster to read and understand, and thus provide a better experience. 20

21 UX What s the deal? A simple timeline can illustrate the duration of the agreement What? Date of signing End of the Agreement Date of signing If terminated with at least 6 months notice, the Agreement ends 3 years from date of signing. If not so terminated, the Agreement continues until either party gives at least 3 months notice Date of signing If terminated with at least 6 months notice, the Agreement ends 3 years from date of signing If not so terminated, the Agreement continues 1 year at a time until either party gives at least 3 months notice. Ruukki, Metso and FIMECC itself are piloting a new generation of contracts, which utilize information design and simplification strategies. In this way, the parties can better align their expectations and communicate clearly regarding agreed upon roles and responsibilities. Tests with company lawyers, sourcing managers and sales managers demonstrated that visual contracts are not only faster and easier to read, but positively affect the overall experience of the users; a company using this approach can gain competitive advantage by appearing more innovation-oriented, trustworthy, collaborative and transparent in the eyes of its customers. 21

22 Recipe for great UX? Several researchers have tried to identify a general set of system qualities that would always result in good UX. Unfortunately, this is a very tricky task. People have different perceptions of what is beautiful or fun, their expectations for interaction and needs for functionality differ, and in different situations they value different qualities. So, we cannot serve you a recipe for delivering great UX, since UX is not a property of the product. UX is in the person. What a person appreciates about the product in a certain situation determines the UX. What we can do is to design for good UX. In the work place, we can design for good UX by empathic understanding of workers and their work. I enjoy the peace of mind since I know what s going on and how to control the production process. 22

23 Good experience is a Valuable experience A product that provides value for the user in a certain situation is considered to provide good UX. If we dig deeper, we notice that the value comes from fulfilling basic psychological needs. Examples of such needs could be competence, autonomy, relatedness, popularity, and security. UX What? I enjoy the speed and getting things done. Read More why-user-experience-cannot-be-designed/ 23

24 UX Targets UX is tricky to manage due to its vague nature. Unlike many other investments, we cannot precisely show an ROI (return on investment) for UX in hard numbers. Unlike technical performance, we cannot set hard acceptance criteria for UX. In this sense, UX is similar to industrial design. Investing in UX is a strategic decision; do you believe in the power of UX or not? Despite the lack of hard criteria for evaluating UX, it is possible to systematically work towards good UX. A company can set UX targets that are in line with its brand image. UX targets guide both design and evaluation. More about UX design and evaluation to come in the next issue of this series. Hands-on operation experience As part of the UXUS research programme, Konecranes studies future opportunities in the remote operation of cranes. The UX targets set for the research concept were: safety in operation, sense of control, feeling of presence, and ease of co-operation. 24

25 UX It feels like magic! Fastems research is based on UX targets as well. Their concept of gesture-based interaction for industrial machinery was developed based on UX targets such as: Using the system feels like magic. What? 25

26 Brand experience - basis for UX targets The more mature a market is, the more there is a need for differentiation from competitors by providing experiences that are different from others. The brand image and slogan help to set differentiating UX targets that are in line with other communications. Each company can think about UX targets at the company level (based on their brand) and at product level (still in line with the brand). The four universally applicable UX targets can help target setting as well: great products provide the right functionality, usability, value, and novelty. In the B2B industry, it is often more important to address the brand of the customer than the brand of the B2B company. However, if the B2B company wants to move towards a solutions business, the UX of the solution becomes their responsibility, and the solution itself can often be branded by the solution provider. The automobile industry is an interesting industry sector from a UX perspective, since it has matured from being performance-centric to experience-centric. This is visible in advertising, but also in the brand slogans, BMW being a clear example, with: The ultimate driving machine. ( ) vs. Sheer Driving Pleasure (2006 ) Today, few companies even in consumer markets have brand slogans that resonate on an experiential level. Many brand slogans emphasize performance, excellence, or are company-centric, rather than customer- or user-centric. When brand values communicate value for the end user, they can also act as UX targets for products. More specific UX targets can be defined for each product, as long as they are in line with the brand experience. If the current brand slogan and brand values do not communicate the value of the brand for end users (or customers), it might be a useful exercise to first define UX targets and use them for inventing a new brand slogan. 26

27 Functionality Universal UX targets Company s UX targets Value Functional Product s UX targets Emotional Usability Novelty Performance slogans High Performance. Delivered. - Accenture - and You re Done - Amazon.com - Your World. Delivered. - AT&T - We Make IT Happen - IBM/Unisys - Company-centric slogans We try harder - Avis - Intel Inside - Intel - I m lovin it - McDonalds - Your Vision, Our Future - Olympus - More about building an experiential brand: 27

28 Which UXUS companies* are behind these brand slogans? UX dictionary User A person utilizing a product, a service or a system. We involved the current users of our product in testing the first prototypes of our new forklift models: they gave us a lot of valuable insights on how to proceed with the design. u User A. Lifting businesses B. People flow C. Expect results D. Trusted to deliver excellence E. Energy efficient steel solutions for better living, working and moving If you were a customer, which of the above slogans would resonate with you most? How about if you were an end user of their products? E Experience Experience: An event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone. Our field trip to the Netherlands was a great experience! User experience: The way a user feels about using a product, a service or a system The user experience evaluation revealed that our new control panel looked weird, but after using it they really loved it. Customer experience: The sum of all experiences a a customer has with a supplier of goods or services. In order to ensure a positive customer experience, we adopted shorter contracts with a simpler language and even visual explanations. In this way the customer knows that there won t be unpleasant surprises and that he can trust us as a partner. *List of UXUS companies on page 31 A. Konecranes B. Kone C. Metso D. Rolls-Royce E. Ruukki 28

29 UX Brand experience: The sensations, opinions and feelings inspired by a brand. We plan to differentiate ourselves in terms of brand experience, and aim at being perceived as younger and customer-friendlier within a very traditional market. What? u Usability Usability: The ease and efficiency of use of a product, service, or system. The new crane is more usable than the old one: I learned to use it in just one day and I am much faster in my work now! S Satisfaction Satisfaction: Fulfilment of one s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this. Customer satisfaction: How the products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectations. We are pleased with the new maintenance service - they are friendly and seem to know what they are doing. These definitions come from Wikipedia and from the Oxford Dictionary. The editorial team has adjusted the examples to the context. 29

30 UX Links & Bibliography Would you like to know more? Check these out! Hassenzahl, Marc (2011) User Experience and Experience Design. In: Mads Soegaard and Rikke Friis Dam (eds.). Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction. Aarhus, Denmark: The Interaction Design Foundation. Available online at design.html Hassenzahl, M., Diefenbach, S., Göritz, A. (2010) Needs, Affect, and Interactive Products - Facets of User Experience. Interacting with Computers 22(5) Norman, D. (2004) Emotional Design: Why We Love or Hate Everyday Things. New York, Basic Books. Pine, J.B. and Gilmore, J.H. (1999), The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater and Every Business a Stage. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA. uxus

31 UX Why? What? with...

32 UX Why? What? A glimpse of user experience for B2B industry This is booklet is the first issue of a UX-booklet series compiled by Finnish academic researchers and experts on the Finnish metal industry s corporate R&D function. It offers a significant step towards better understanding of the role user experience (UX) plays in business. A glimpse of UX offers a novel approach for managers, explaining what UX is and why it matters. Positive user experience as a philosophy is a powerful way to re-think product business. In the current post-industrial service economy, UX has to be taken into account from the early stages of product design through commercialization, communication and after-sales support of products. Acknowledging the role of UX prepares companies to compete in markets where core technologies are becoming commodities, and UX is becoming a competitive advantage. Offering glances into recent theories and corporate cases the editorial team shows how managers in every industry can start thinking about UX. They explain what this thing called user experience is, why companies should care about it, the relation between UX and brand experience, and more. The booklet contains inspiration and information for both small and large companies, product-based companies thinking of extending their offerings, as well as presenting research themes for academics and consultants.

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