by Lyn Barrett | January 3, 2018 | Custom Applications

Health Care is better served by software created quickly and effectively. A process uniquely capable for this type of software, when done well, is Agile Development. This is especially true when user centric approaches are used which lead to tools being built that meet user needs.

Often the wrong tool is created because users were ignored, their wants were perceived as needs (they often don’t know what they need – this is why you observe their behavior), or the execution was insufficient. And these are not mutually exclusive. The point is if you do not build what users need then they will not be in a position to do their job as effectively as they could have. Unfortunately, the dark side of Agile is that people perceive they always need to rush and there is not enough time to determine user needs. This is simply not true as you save more time later by building features aligned to user needs with user involvement at every iteration.

You know your software is bad if physicians, nurses, admins, or revenue cycle professionals take an inordinate amount of time to do what should be easy tasks. The move from paper to electronic was supposed to lead to more efficiency. And yet it has not done as well as we could have hoped. The prime reason for this is again, tools are being created that do not align to user needs. This is why you create prototypes and test them early with users identifying what failed (and features will) so you can fix them. Waiting many months before you show your work to users is a recipe for waste. And if you find nothing wrong, your test didn’t test what it should have because nothing is perfect.

Further, clients are shown the Cadillac of what could be delivered but often that does not become what is delivered. And the Cadillac or the delivery may not necessarily be what their users need. Proper business analysis, user experience, and dev can identify and implement the proper tool.

We at Saxony Partners believe that fostering an environment in which experimental perspectives are taken seriously–contributes to our clients’ success and sets us apart. We seek to be open-minded and to allow the data to determine how a product or process should be created or improved. And we do so with a passion for getting our clients and their customers what they need, when they need it. When you partner with us, you partner for success.

Contact us at (214) 389-7903 or email us to learn how we can help you.


About The Author

Lyn Barrett
Manager BTD

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The ROI of User Experience Design

by Andrew Chumley | July 20, 2017 | Experience Design

User experience design yields a measurable return on investment for organizations with the right strategy. Here are four reasons why a UX engagement with Saxony Partners will help your company realize incredible value.

1. Businesses who invest in UX outperform those who don’t

Numerous studies have proven conclusively that companies who strategically commit to delivering a great user experience enjoy significantly better stock performance compared to companies that do not invest in UX.


About The Author

Andrew Chumley
Manager

Since 2007, Andrew Chumley has worked in real estate technology. He joined Saxony Partners in 2013. Prior to joining Saxony, Andrew served as a business analyst and project manager in the real estate asset management and loan asset management groups within the realty management division of Goldman Sachs. Within these roles, Andrew was responsible for liaising between the business and the IT group in support of various business applications: real estate management JAVA application and proprietary .NET Excel financial models leveraged by domestic and international business units supporting multi-family, loan asset management, commercial, hospitality and investment management groups.


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Identifying and Testing Your Users

by Eric Hilton | May 24, 2017 | Experience Design

Any great user experience practitioner will tell you that you need to define who your users are (Personas/User Profiles) and identify their behaviors (Usability testing/ Ethnography) before designing can begin or should continue. And if you do not have any users yet, these steps are even more critical.

This is necessary because you want to be sure you are building the right feature set for your users. While determining this, you should be questioning your assumptions. Do I really know if my users need a mobile app? Otherwise you are susceptible to building something that you believe your users need, but not actually what they need. Could it be that a responsive website would accommodate their needs?

There are many tools you can utilize to have a clearer understanding of your users. And though these tools are great, you will never have a perfect understanding of your users. The idea is not to be perfect though, just better. Always better — using what you learn about your users over time.


About The Author

Eric Hilton
Development Lead Consultant

Eric Hilton has over ten years of data warehousing development, design and implementation experience. He has spent his entire professional career in the business intelligence and data warehousing space. Mr. Hilton has held a variety of roles on projects through his career: data architect, ETL architect, report developer and ETL developer.


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Ben Judy presents at the Enterprise UX Virtual Summit

by Ben Judy | February 14, 2017 | Experience Design

I had the pleasure of presenting to the EUX Virtual Summit on February 14, 2017. Nearly 30,000 people around the globe registered for this, the largest UX conference ever!

Thousands joined my webinar from locations such as Indonesia, France, Brazil, Poland, the Philippines, and elsewhere. The reaction from the global design community was simply fantastic. I collected and curated a few Tweets for posterity. One attendee even took the time to take some awesome sketchnotes!

Much of the content of my presentation will be familiar if you’ve read my post UX Strategy: What’s Your Altitude?

This was a great opportunity to take that framework and apply it to a case study from my previous design work at Intuit, and to get feedback from designers around the world.

Here’s a screencast recording of my full presentation with Q&A afterward. It’s just over an hour long.

If you’re short on time, here’s a pre-recorded and condensed version of my presentation. It’s just 30 minutes long. Enjoy!


About The Author

Ben Judy
Senior Manager, Experience Design

Ben has passionately designed meaningful, digital experiences since before Y2K (remember that?). He has led highly successful design efforts for enterprises in multiple industries: financial software, real estate, travel, and health care; as well as small businesses and startup ventures. An accomplished presenter at design conferences including UX STRAT, Big Design Conference and SXSW Interactive, Ben is a highly regarded thought leader in UX strategy, designing for professional end-users and complex interaction design.


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Gamification for Training

by Ryan Stacy | January 13, 2017 | Experience Design

While most of us can immediately recognize the benefit of training at a job, I doubt most of us would call this activity fun. But there are things that can be done to make it fun and engaging or at least less tedious than it traditionally is. And that in turn will make employees more likely to recall what they’ve learned. This can be achieved with something called Gamification.

What is it?

Gamification is the process by which you alter an interface, product, or process that was not originally intended to be a game to incorporate aspects of games. If you can bring the same type of excitement people have for games to something that is traditionally not an engaging activity, you can increase the likelihood of someone wanting to repeat that activity. People tend to have better memories for things that elicit strong emotions, so you’re increasing the likelihood of the training having a positive effect on their job performance.

We know this in part due to what is described as a “Flashbulb Memory.” For example, do you remember what you were doing on September 11th? How about a more recent emotionally charged event such as the birth of a child or their graduation? What about a game you have fond memories of? While these are not all happy events, they do provide evidence that emotion can improve the recall of memories.

We can use this knowledge to try to make our training more emotionally charged by adding an element of gamification, or better yet, turning the training into a game itself.

Good UX in Gaming

For the interface of your game you can have a good user experience (UX). But for gaming the goal is to introduce challenges and rewards for those challenges, which are a bit different from UX’s goal of decreasing pain points.

“UX design is about removing problems from the user. Game design is about giving problems to the user.” – Raph Koster, A prolific game designer and UX expert

Gamification can bring the same type of excitement people get from games to training exercises but remember to leave some challenge and reward. Otherwise you risk making the game too easy, boring, and without any sense of accomplishment

Case Study

Let us say that as a part of your yearly employee development you need to train employees in correct OSHA procedures. You’re never going to make this as fun and engaging as a triple A title from a well-known game publisher, but that doesn’t mean you cannot gamify the training, increase memory recall, and see reduced accidents.

Key Considerations:

• Identify the key competencies you want employees to attain

• Reward the mastery of those key competencies in game

• Make it engaging. This is easier said than done, but this is part of the challenge. Use successful games as examples to build from.

• Test the game early

• Test continuously

The last two considerations are critical. You don’t want to have spent a ton of time developing a game and realize that the game is not engaging or employees are not learning the things they need to know. While testing may not be the most glamorous thing to do and it can be hard to take feedback well, it will save you a lot of time later.

You can do this by paper prototyping. After identifying the key competencies you want employees to attain, start building screens on paper of what the game will look like. Then have a few employees test it out.

Be sure not to ask leading questions (for example, “What were the frustrating parts of this game?” – Instead “What did you think of this game?”), let them know their unbiased feedback is appreciated, and emphasize you are testing the game and not them. You want them to be honest. Then have them take a short test to see if the game did its job of teaching the desired concepts. Later after the game is developed you can see if an improvement in job performance occurred. While it may be difficult to determine if it was the game or other factors that may have improved performance, if you consider the impact of the other factors — and performance did not get worse, you can count it as a success. Especially so if employees enjoyed the game!

With data, you can feel empowered to start building the game and do not forget to repeat this testing throughout the development process!

Why Gamify your training?

Gamifying your training can bring about excitement in an otherwise dull activity. You want people to be excited while learning, have improved performance, and be more likely to be engaged while doing the training in the future.

Now who can help you do this?

I’m suggesting Saxony Partners, as I and others here are experienced UX practitioners and love opportunities like this! But if you go with someone else, they should be emphasizing assisting you in identifying requirements for both the trainees and your business, promoting testing to ensure you are building something that meets those requirements, and be willing to educate you about any design/testing questions you have. Thank you for reading and we would love to hear from you!


About The Author

Ryan Stacy
UX Researcher and Designer

Since 2013, Ryan has worked in the fields of human factors and user experience and has played key roles on projects ranging from airline websites, pharmaceutical e-commerce, electronic health records, kitchen display systems and electrical supply. He has worked as a consultant across the United States and in India, and believes his key strength is the ability to apply UX principles to multiple applications as a consultant evidenced by his experience in many industries.


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Ben Judy presents at the Enterprise UX Virtual Summit

by Ranjith Nair | July 24, 2015 | Experience Design

I had the pleasure of presenting to the EUX Virtual Summit on February 14, 2017. Nearly 30,000 people around the globe registered for this, the largest UX conference ever!

Thousands joined my webinar from locations such as Indonesia, France, Brazil, Poland, the Philippines, and elsewhere. The reaction from the global design community was simply fantastic. I collected and curated a few Tweets for posterity. One attendee even took the time to take some awesome sketchnotes!


About The Author

Ranjith Nair
Senior Consultant

Ranjith Nair has over 19 years of experience in business intelligence and data warehousing solutions. Mr. Nair has worked on implementations across marketing agency, consumer packaged goods, real estate, software products, sales and professional services, and healthcare industries. Roles on these projects across various horizontals include user experience architect, data modelling, data architect, solutions developer and business analyst. Nair possesses a knowledge of business intelligence tools across Oracle (OBIEE) and Microsoft BI stack including: SQL server, analysis services, integration services and reporting services.


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These articles have not been prepared, approved, endorsed, or licensed by any entity that created or produced the referenced products or services