What is RoleTailored user experience in NAV 2009? Part 1
Dear visitor: Please keep in mind that this post is originally from Vibor Cipan's personal blog, the name of which we eventually adopted as our company name together with its conveniently-named URL. We're keeping the posts on our official company blog for all the subscribers to Vibor's blog who have read and commented on his previous posts. Please be aware that this post represents Vibor's personal thinking few years ago and doesn't necessarily represent the opinions of the UX Passion as a company today.
Usually, ERP systems are considered to be complex, difficult for use with steep learning curve. Seeing that as one of the challenges Microsoft has deliver RoleTailored user experience for products like Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009. What is RoleTailored user experience and how it can help users to be more productive?
This is first article in series of RoleTailored connected articles. Its main purpose is to give you clear overview of what is RoleTailored user experience and how it was developed, what is Microsoft Dynamics Customer model and how it was driven by user research.
In the future, I will go and provide you with more detailed coverage of specific features and cornerstones of RoleTailored user experience like Role Centers, List pages, Task pages and try to explain how RoleTailored user experience is truly an innovation that is driving end-user productivity, while, at same time, provides great user experience, familiar working environment, connectivity and drives your businesses up.
You can find link to new article outlining the concepts mentioned above.
Extensive research is basis of RoleTailored user experience
Foundations of RoleTailored user experience are users and extensive research conducted. Microsoft Dynamics UX team has conducted over 2000 interviews or user observations with real people solving real challenges in their everyday work. This research is ongoing effort and interviews and observations are conducted every month.
You might go and ask yourself: Why do you need all those observations and interviews? Microsoft has got some interesting results from this research effort. It has been discovered that different people in companies have different needs and challenges. Also, there is a clear point that those needs depend on their roles in company, size and type of departments they are in as well as the general industry in which their company is in.
Customer Model is one of the pillars
How to make sense and derive some conclusions from all the data being gathered in user research I’ve just mentioned? Microsoft Dynamics UX team has created something called “Customer Model”. Model that is made from two parts: Persona part and Work part.
This poster features faces of 61 persons that are performing typical jobs in their organization. Why putting people faces and even giving them names? It was deliberate decision because they are being used daily in design / research work and team is always referring to them by their names. For example, team is saying that we are developing some specific experience for Susan (order processor) or for Emil (product designer).
But story does not end there. Each persona is based on research results and their profiles have been developed so that detailed descriptions are available. There you can find details like how is Susan organizing her day and responsibilities she is in charge of, what are her preferences…
Work Model poster
Basic idea of Work Model poster is to show possible high-level processes that might exist in a given company. Each process consists of several activities, activities are further divided into tasks and separate task steps. They are not fictive step – they have been derived from research studies and every real-world company performs subset of these activities.
Poster is being used as orientation and good driver when it comes to thinking about task flows. From that, good architecture, design and end-user experiences are being developed.
During the analysis of data gathered trough researches, it has become obvious that personas are distinctively different, and that different approach is needed when UX is being considered. It made no sense to create same UI and provide same user experience for all those personas. That is how the idea of RoleTailored has been born.
RoleTailored user experience is truly an innovation in user experience world. Of course, intention of RoleTailored user experience in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 (and other Microsoft Dynamics products) has never been to cover all possible roles in all possible companies. Think about that – it wouldn’t make much sense, don’t’ you think so? Instead, idea was to provide a good foundation, starting point – a framework if you like – that make it easy to modify (existing) profiles and create new ones. With that idea – partners will be able to apply this innovation and tailor (!) the application to fit specific industries and specific customer needs.
In next article I will go and explain what are the Role Centers, what are they consisted off and try to give several more points on how RoleTailored user experience is playing major role in improving end-user productivity. Stay tuned!
Final article is published here so take a look: What is RoleTailored user experience in NAV 2009? Part 2/2 (Explaining Role Centers, List Places and Task Pages)
Addition: Take a look at blog post Introducing RoleTailored Experience from Vjeko Babić, Dynamics Consultant from Microsoft Consulting Services in Croatia, and a good friend of mine. Vjeko is running his Navigate into success blog and I can just tell you that in future there will be lot of articles Vjeko and I will be working on regarding RoleTailored UX (user experience) and provide you with interesting perspectives.