How to Get The Best User Experience

In this video, Ivan Kornienko discusses information architecture and style when developing your user interface. He explains how you can use different style tools and how to get started in building a great user experience.

Speaker 1: Thanks, Ivan, for coming to join us. Today we're talking about user experience and building user experience. Let's start with, a lot of times the largest failure in a new project is that the user experience is not the same that it was before or that they expected something that they didn't get. What do you do when you're on projects to make sure that the user experience is what the user really wants?

Ivan: Yeah, so with any new implementation it's going to be different than the original one, and in many cases, unfortunately, people do not like change. The new solution just has to be that much better in order to get past that hurdle.

Ivan: Generally, I think one important thing to consider when approaching it is to split apart the information architecture from the actual style with which an interface is displayed with.

Ivan: So information architecture is the data and the structure of the data. So is it a list? Is it just a piece of output? Is it a list within a list? Is it something that will require people a couple clicks to get into? Is it something that's present immediately on the screen? Whereas the style is the margins, the colors, all of that.

Ivan: It's really important to divide that in two because the information architecture portion is something that is unique to the implementation. It's something that's unique to the users. It's something where, as a practitioner implementing a BPM solution, we need to sit with the business and to actually understand.

Ivan: Whereas the style, there are lots of really, really good solutions to that, meaning there are lots of UI frameworks that already do that for you. If you are building web applications, there's Google Material, there's Twitter Bootstrap. There's a whole lot of different solutions out there where they've already thought through, "How would any range of information architectures actually be displayed?" All of that is thought through, and you don't have to worry, "Is it rounded corners or square corners?" Or any of that. It's really important to split those two things.

Speaker 1: Not to do a sales plug here, but also [inaudible 00:02:02] of course.

Ivan: That's right. Yeah. It's certainly the best framework for UI you can use.

Speaker 1: Okay. So for someone who's not an expert in user interface design, how would we get started with really discovering what a user wants and building that out, other than using those frameworks?

Ivan: Yeah, absolutely. So the key bit here is most of the time is focused on building out that information architecture. I think a great tool for information architecture is the card sorting approach. It is where we sit with a business user and we basically write, for every single screen, we write all the key bits of information that may be displayed on that screen, that may be used for them to make whatever decision is necessary of that task.

Ivan: After we write each one of those on an individual card, then the user is basically given those cards, and they have the ability to kind of arrange them. They can group together things that are related to each other. They can move up front things that they should see, most important to completing this particular activity. Forcing the user to interact with that physical paper, it really allows you to get to an implementation where the most important information is up top.

Ivan: Then, if a given card is far away from them or if a given card is farther down a stack once they've done this arrangement, then it's probably something that could be a couple clicks away. It doesn't have to be on the screen immediately as they go into completing a task.

Ivan: So it's a very simple approach, but it allows you to kind of get an understanding for information architecture.

Speaker 1: That's awesome advice. Thank you so much for joining us, and we look forward to more user experience talks.

Ivan: Absolutely.

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