My working life began many years ago with a summer holiday job at a chicken slaughterhouse. One day, during a break, a full-timer asked what I planned to do once I finished school. She herself had never taken higher education and had spent her life working at various factories. So it was important for to her to hear that we student part-timers had our sights fixed higher. I answered that I wanted to study something involving people and human behavior.
Fast forward to today: that slaughterhouse is closed and I’m a user experience (UX) designer at Falcon Social—something I could never have predicted back then. What has brought me down this path is curiosity and a deep fascination for technology and people.
That curiosity and the willingness to ask questions are two of the most important qualities a UX designer needs. But we also need to be sympathetic to the challenges and obstacles faced by users. That’s why, when we began focusing on our Falcon platform UX last summer, we needed to experience it through our customers’ eyes. We needed to get a handle on how people in various roles might perceive or like particular solutions or functions.
SEEING OURSELVES THROUGH YOUR EYES
To get the answers we devoted the next 6 months to more than 35 user interviews and on-site customer visits. It really was an eye-opening experience during which we really came to see ourselves from the users’ perspective. We also came to realize how much their typical workday—even their moods—are affected by what we deliver. That’s something we’re both extremely proud of and a little intimidated by.
It was certainly time well spent: we ended up making several thousand updates and other changes to the platform during 2014. Curiosity made that happen. Along with our drive to deliver the best social media management tool for enterprise there is.
Our work is far from finished. So far in 2015 we have hired another UX designer and are continuing to explore how to improve our user experience even more. A key improvement has been streamlining the bug-reporting process among other features. Our toolbox continues to increase in size as well, with extremely beneficial implications for Falcon users—but I’ll tell you more about that in my upcoming posts.