Posted: 30 Apr. 2021

Elevating the human experience for cloud-based software solutions

User Experience (UX) has a role to play in all cloud-based software solutions regardless of the scale and pace in which the outcome needs to be delivered. 

This last year has demanded accelerated changes, many of which have been delivered by large scale cloud-based software solutions. Cloud-based software solutions need to place end-users at the heart of the design and implementation process - no matter the scale, degree of impact, and urgency. Organisations that have integrated even a facet of user-experience (UX) design into the delivery approach are one step closer to making it more of a positive human experience.

What are the benefits to applying a UX approach to cloud solutions?

A UX approach finds that sweet spot between what is desirable for end-users and what is both feasible and viable for the organisation. The value of UX isn’t just about knowing the needs, wants, and desires of end-users – it’s about compromise. Designing within the software’s capabilities and constraints (and don’t forget the organisation’s objectives!) to deliver a user-friendly digital experience is where the real value of UX sits.

Typically, cloud-based software solutions are designed ‘at’ end-users, rather than ‘with’ and ‘for’ end-users. As a result, many end-users end up confused and frustrated – to put it simply, the solutions are not user-centric and don’t address fundamental pain points and opportunities.

This comes down to a stock standard delivery approach which could be described as ‘build, test, release’. Yes, ‘test’ is a part of the approach, but this usually takes the form of User Acceptance Testing (UAT), which looks to see if the solution is functioning the way it is intended to, not whether the solution is simple and intuitive for end-users. Engaging with end-users (even if it is light touch) throughout the design and delivery phases will allow organisations to gain an empathetic understanding of the requirements to drive the delivery of a user-friendly digital experience.

How does urgency and UX come together in cloud enabled transformation?

It is essential to apply a lean UX approach as this helps keep key stakeholders at ease and focussed on what is most important to end-users. It is paramount to plan upfront where UX can make a valuable impact - especially when faced with urgency and demanding deadlines. 

Two key things that should always be ascertained up front are: who the key user groups are (front and back-stage), and secondly, what the hygiene factors are that fundamentally have to be right for that particular user group. We call these hygiene factors, ‘Moments that Matter’. Getting them right will support a positive base-level user experience.

Moments that Matter sit across the front and back-stage experience and should help define the scope for the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and following iterations. Taking a lean UX approach is about getting your MVP scope into the ‘build, measure, learn’ cycle as quickly as possible. The purpose of this cycle is to test prototypes with end-users for iterative value-add feedback. This is where the organisation’s assumptions are validated and any fundamental flaws in the design can be ironed out. A delivery approach that integrates genuine end-user testing before the cloud solution is pushed to the production environment will have higher rates of adoption and reduced enhancement costs after go-live.

If you only focus on one thing, focus on plain English

Regardless of your solution and the degree of urgency, getting the use of language right is vital. By adopting plain English throughout the cloud solution, organisations can fundamentally improve the end-user experience. Plain English will help ensure instructions are concise, helpful, and easily understood – end-users will be enabled to self-serve to seamlessly complete tasks.

‘Good design starts with good content. Clear, well-designed, and well-planned content means your messages get through with less effort.’ – Craig Christensen

Delivering cloud-based software solutions ‘with’ and ‘for’ end-users in will always benefit the organisation – both in the short and long term.

Find out how Deloitte can support your aspirations to make your cloud-base software solutions more user-friendly by embedding a UX approach. Get in touch with us here.

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Kate Reid

Kate Reid

Partner - Consulting

I am a global health-care business leader with over 20 years of experience in delivering transformative technology enabled healthcare solutions. I’m hugely excited about the innovations and technologies that are rapidly transforming the way we will consume and deliver healthcare. I believe that shifting from a ‘sickness’ to a ‘wellbeing’ system, relies on holistically managing all aspects of a person’s world, not just their physical health. To do this effectively, requires cross sector collaboration, partnership and a longer-term view of managing people’s overall health and wellbeing. We must also challenge how we currently deliver care, how we address the issues of equity of access and equitable outcomes and how consumers have access to the tools they need to truly engage in their own health and wellbeing. The transformation required isn’t an easy job… healthcare is complex with many moving parts and as we all know, currently not well connected. That said, with national assets like the National Health Identifier, and arguably the richest longitudinal healthcare data set, NZ is poised to become one of the most innovative and revered health systems in the world. To get there though, is going to take collaboration, great communication and team work and I’m committed to playing my part in that. As one of the founders for Women in Health Tech, I believe in fostering diversity and creating pathways for women to reach their full potential. I am also privileged to hold the Chair role for NZHIT, the health IT industry body representing a diverse membership of over 170 health IT companies and service providers. My focus on fostering partnerships and collaboration across health as part of NZHIT, interfaces well with my role as Partner for Digital Health at Deloitte where I continue to drive towards a more integrated and collaborative landscape for better health outcomes for all New Zealanders.  

Jeremy Gardiner

Jeremy Gardiner

Consultant - Customer & Applied Design

Jeremy Gardiner is a Consultant in the Customer & Applied Design team at Deloitte New Zealand.