*** On June 28th, our User Experience Director, Steve Tengler, presented a webinar entitled “User Experience vs. User Interface”. This post features a question asked by an attendee.
QUESTION: How does the process change across industries?
STEVE: Sometimes it changes within industries too! The biggest thing is probably the industry’s cycle time and the ability to test once you’re in the market. For example, Google or online systems they have a short cycle time. They very little time to iterate in the middle of a project, but they also have a great flexibility to recall any problem children they put out into the real world. So they might do more of the iterations as a beta test than as early rounds of usability tests.
With automotive, it’s a much longer development cycle and they don’t have an easy way to recall whatever they put into the market. Therefore, they’ll want to do lots more modeling inside the modeling software beforehand. Within an industry, it could depend on how complex the user interface is. For example, in automotive, a door unlock button isn’t hard to figure out, but a multimedia center stack is pretty complex, and you’ll want to do some of that stuff well in advance and iterate multiple rounds.
Tenants that don’t change across industries: you want to understand your customer and their unfulfilled needs and goals up front. Confirm the design before you get into the large costs of hard tooling or launching and distributing your product or if for some reason you didn’t use a modeling software that ports to production hardware, all that hand coding. All that major expense. Finally, that feedback loop that I was talking about before to design for post production.