One of the most annoying things, as an engineer, was the much dreaded user acceptance test. Mostly it was horrible because in our heads all was working properly and no issue was to be perceived in our freshly designed user experience. But reality was slightly different: engineers are not the most common sample of users, sometimes our heads are much more crowded and complicated compared to other people’s. So how can we ensure that our customer journey not only conforms to the designer’s specifications, but it does so in a way that the end users can benefit those specification and actually use our designed experience in a successful way?
Just one word: gamification.
Keep the task fun and give rewards to your users and they will engage and be part of the CX more willingly:
– the customer journey map: make it fun!
I mentioned in a post that we still write scripts, only today this is much more complicated with omni-channel, i.e. the ability of users to jump from one channel to the other and back, all within one interaction. This brings on the necessity of mapping all the jumps and exits from one channel to the other so that this journey is safe and protected and it never ends with a dead end or an error or missing data from one channel to the other. Does this sound fun at all? Not really. Spike it up by adding user levels to discover new channels (meanwhile they will train and become proficient in the original engaged channel), give benefits when jumping correctly from one media to the other, provide the ability to get social and brag about the engagement…
– the user acceptance test: keep the fun!
and when I say user, I mean it. Not your colleagues engineers, not your boss or your friend who is a geek, you need to put the interaction out for common users who might not even have computer skills – or might have it different in their head (think of mac users 😉 ). So plan to give your “little creature” to real users, carefully review their honest feedback and make the necessary changes to keep the journey as smooth as possible, even if this includes cutting off parts of the configuration or adding “obvious” information and guidance. Make some rewards for those users who test, such as adding their suggestions, advance their level in the engagement, etc..
Remember you’re designing this for real users and the success of the application comes directly from them, not from another engineer testing it or from a score of the application design tool. Make it fun, and the users will love the engagement even when it’s not 100% smooth: heck, they’ll even want to help you bring it up to speed. 🙂