When designing a new product, where does the most useful feedback come from?
Design team members constantly refine their work and iterate their products in response to the feedback from technical teammates and stakeholders.
Technical teams are immersed in technology and back-end development. They have valuable input, but the question is – is this the best and most useful source of feedback?
We know that it is the end users who ultimately determine how useful a product is, how neatly it coincides with their expectations, and how much value it represents in the marketplace. For this reason, designing from a user experience (UX) framework is one of the most valuable positions an innovative company can take and, as a leader in technological innovation for more than a century, we have done just that.
Xerox refined its approach to incorporating UX feedback into the design process. This has culminated in the 2017 release of the ConnectKey platform – the biggest technology launch in the company's history.
To understand just how powerful this technology is, it is critical that we understand its capabilities from a UX perspective.
Gathering UX Feedback Data for New Xerox Products
We know that there can be no constructive UX feedback without a means for collecting and organizing end-user data. If there is no process by which existing products can be improved or updated, then UX feedback can only be used in secondary product releases – later editions of products that already come to market.
Xerox has addressed both of these issues with its ConnectKey multifunction device software platform. Not only has the company designed the platform from a UX-oriented perspective, but it has enabled itself to improve its products in real time as it gathers customer data.
How ConnectKey Uses UX Feedback to Improve Its Interface
One of the ways ConnectKey realizes this approach to UX feedback is through its App Gallery. Upon initial launch, the Xerox App Gallery largely contained native applications that any user would expect a multifunction printer to have – scanning, printing, copying, and faxing, for example. But Xerox continually updates its App Gallery with new applications that serve users' needs while addressing complex workflow issues.
Examples of how the App Gallery responds to evolving end-user needs include the Easy Translator and Xerox's own healthcare-specific Electronic Medical Record (EMR) app. Xerox's app deployment team is provided with this User Experience data, ensuring that intended usage is noted and evaluated and new technology is developed accordingly.
Another key innovation is the ConnectKey user interface. Since the majority of office employees use mobile telephones for work-related purposes, designing the interface around the touchscreen design that these phones employ has proven to be a UX masterstroke.
This design decision almost completely eliminated the need for technical manuals and complex workflow documentation. Users are intuitively aware of how ConnectKey Devices work because the user interface was modeled after devices that most users are already deeply familiar with, reducing the need for helpdesk calls and eliminating the bottleneck in production which typically follows.
To address this problem, Xerox incorporated short instructional videos into the device itself, giving users immediate access to the information they need to get jobs done.
UX Improvement Behind the Scenes
There is more to UX than improving new Xerox products' user interface. There are also important back-end factors to consider.
For instance, ConnectKey supports automated supply replenishment. A ConnectKey-enabled Xerox multifunction printer can monitor its own toner and ink levels and order its own product as needed. This removes the responsibility from employees or supervisors to monitor usage and order cartridges, avoiding delays in delivery.
These printers also offer full print analytics. This generates data that tells supervisors who is printing, what is printed, how often, and on what media type. It provides deep insights on the many ways print process owners can make their workplaces more efficient. This UX improvement removes production delays by giving supervisors the ability to effectively manage their employees and their print fleet.
Finally, the transition to mobile-friendly printing represents a major UX improvement. Whereas organizations once had to create complex mobile device policies or attempt to forbid mobile devices entirely, they can now let employees rely on their mobile devices for quick, easy access to the documents they need most.
Employees can print directly from their phones, upload scanned pages to their mobile email accounts, and perform a broad variety of mobile-compatible activities without opening up the company to the security vulnerabilities that mobile devices used to represent.
Do you want to learn more about how UX feedback informs Xerox ConnectKey product design? Talk to one of our experts and find out!