Service design and UX is not a ‘nice to have’, it is a ‘must have’

By Nortal HQ

In order to provide efficient e-services, you must analyze and know your client in detail, said Nortal’s User Experience and Service Design Lead Helen Kokk at the Analysis Conference Estonia 2016, the largest conference for IT and business analysts in Estonia that took place October 27, 2016 in Tallinn.

When it comes to service design and user experience, it is not only relevant to have data about your clients, but it is vital you engage in thorough analysis and combine it with knowledge on consumer psychology, said Kokk at the conference.

“Unless you know the user in great detail – how they consume the service, what are the different internal and external factors influencing them– you may create a cool IT solution or system that will unfortunately end up delivering mediocre results. It is reasonable to always start from consumer analysis,” said Kokk.

Client’s emotions, ideas, preferences in taste, the environment where the service is consumed, and whether the client engages in other parallel activities and what they do before and after the use of the service all matter. According to Kokk, the reason why one solution proves successful and another does not, lies in the details.

According to Kokk, copying successful solutions is an easy practice that is often followed, but may not produce the desired result. “It is easy to do things the way they have always been done or to follow the example of some successful solutions, but we should never forget to ask ‘Why?’. Why is this the best solution for this particular service and specific client? Why should the same solution work for this particular problem? Asking, ‘Why?’ is a universal truth that we should remind ourselves again and again. This question is absolutely vital, particularly for analysts whose daily job is to build a bridge between the business goals and what we need to provide to the end user,” said Kokk.

The opinion that more conservative services, such as public services, do not require service design and just have to be functional is outdated, according to Kokk. “Understanding service design and user experience is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is a ‘must have’,” said Kokk.

According to Kokk, understanding  what the client does not like and what evokes negative reactions is as important as knowing the client’s preferences. “Negative emotions drive people. We do not want to feel insecure or feel bad; therefore we are subconsciously, constantly seeking positive emotions when consuming services,” said Kokk.

For instance, it has been proven that people like the ‘stress of desire’ – according to Kokk, this knowledge can be used in service design to create positive emotions for the client.

”For instance, the service of sending parcels. We know that after placing an order, the parcel will be on its way for about five to seven days and that we will be notified of its arrival. But if we add, to the service, the opportunity to follow the journey of the parcel from warehouse packing and shipment up to the arrival of the parcel, the consumer gets the positive emotion,” added Kokk.

The largest Estonian conference for IT and business analysts “Analysis Conference Estonia 2016” organised by Nortal brought more than 160 IT and business analysts to Tallinn, from more than 50 companies both from Estonia and other countries of this region.

The aim of the conference is to share knowledge of, and experience in, the development of IT services both in the private and public sectors and to find common solutions for making the development process even more client-centered, while eliminating any bottlenecks.