Amol Dalvi, VP, Product at Nerdio, says as hybrid and remote work continues, maintaining elements of usability, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) must become or remain a top priority to ensure successful and consistent experiences. This is especially true when it comes to Desktop as a Service (DaaS).
Dalvi answers some of ISVs’ most common questions about software usability and some tips for aligning with your users’ expectations.
In general, are there any elements of software usability you find that are most important to users?
Dalvi: As DaaS holds the weight of enabling the flexibility of the “work from anywhere” mentality, here are some elements that will remain top-of-mind to users, as their productivity depends on it:
- Performance and responsiveness: No matter the type of industry, employees work at a fast pace. The end user’s environment — whether utilizing a virtual desktop or physical device — must not only keep up with the user but also maintain responsiveness. Any delay can negatively impact a user’s productivity and experience in one fell swoop.
- Compatibility: There are a multitude of applications employees utilize on a daily basis. However, if the software application interface running in DaaS isn’t as intuitive, easy to use, or provides a clear navigation system, you can expect a lower satisfaction rate. In addition to ease, software applications that run in DaaS environments need to be compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems, to truly allow users to work from anywhere on any device.
- Customization: We all have specific needs and preferences when it comes to a virtual desktop environment. Whether selecting the apps necessary to complete a job or adjusting display settings, users appreciate and expect personalized experiences that fit their work style.
- Confidently secured: This is a given, however, as security continues to be top-of-mind for organization IT leaders and the users themselves, it’s important they feel confident that their information and data are actively being secured. Some security measures that can be implemented include encryption, multi-factor authentication, and endpoint management.
Do developers’ priorities usually align with user priorities?
Dalvi: Similar to many other circumstances, the priorities of software developers within the DaaS market and end users can differ. To ensure DaaS is running efficiently and effectively, developers must focus on technical aspects like security, performance, and functionality. And in contrast, users are focusing on the usability and customization of their experience.
Of course, developers must listen to feedback from their users to constantly improve the software with updates such as enhanced performance and new security measures. However, developers are often more attentive to addressing technical issues and bugs that impact the stability and reliability of the DaaS environment ̶ a crucial practice to ensure users are able to work smoothly throughout the course of their day.
Although the focus between developers and users may be different, they are inherently achieving the same goal ̶ creating a user-friendly, positive experience that benefits both their working capabilities and the organization’s bottom line.
How can software companies ensure alignment?
Dalvi: To ensure alignment between software companies and their users, it’s critical for software companies to not only listen to user feedback but also make actionable changes by incorporating it into their development process. Here are the two biggest strategies to consider:
- Research your users: Software companies, despite their breadth of knowledge in their particular space, are not and should not believe they are mind readers. To ensure you best understand the needs and priorities of your users, start implementing surveys, focus groups, or user testing.
- Revitalize your development strategy: Instead of incorporating user feedback at the very end of your development process, embrace a collaborative approach to software development that emphasizes user feedback and involvement throughout. Continuously gathering feedback and making adjustments will create a streamlined project timeline and increase time to market.
The bottom line is no software company will be aligned with their user’s preferences unless they take the time to listen to their concerns and feedback. Making the time can be a challenge, especially in today’s workplace environment, where teams may be shrinking and responsibilities are increasing. But it will most certainly improve one’s product, customer satisfaction, and future capabilities.