User-Centered Design methodology reflects dedication to added value

28 Jun 2016 - Nicolas Chabanoles

As Bonitasoft is applying a user-centered approach company-wide, R&D tells their part of the story.

Recently, we’ve improved our roadmap and release processes to include new alpha and beta phases. This, along with internal focus on quality and User-Centered Design methodology, is providing R&D with more feedback, to run additional manual tests, and to improve usability for newly covered use cases.

We have made this shift in R&D with a strong dedication to added value for our users. Our Usability Expert, Nathalie Cotté, provides us with important input and help to achieve our objectives

With User-Centered Design methodology, we can now:

  • Reduce the risk of not knowing if the newly released value is easy to see, learn, use, nor if it brings enough value
  • Improve the global perceived quality of Bonita BPM
  • Promote user satisfaction, which in turns favors good reputation, adoption and renewals

Here’s a little insight on how we applied User-Centered Design (UCD) methodology while preparing the release of Bonita BPM 7.3:

Non-negotiable usability - A feature cannot be declared “ready to ship” if users cannot:

  • Find it by themselves in the product
  • Easily understand what it does
  • Easily learn how to use it (in the product for basic usage, in the documentation for more advanced cases)
  • Easily recover from errors when errors occur

As a result of this approach, R&D engineers have added product guidance and better error messages in some key 7.3 features.

Test at my desk

  • When a feature was “R&D ready”, we invited a small group of internal users (Delivery, Adoption, Pre-Sales, Marketing, Admin, and Finance depending on the target persona of the feature) to the R&D engineer’s desk, to take the mouse and implement a scenario based on target use cases.
  • Feedback (from observations or questions) was centralized and sorted by criticality.
  • Top items made it to our JIRA ticketing system for modification.
  • This has insured relevant iterations on feature acceptance in terms of basic usability. So we spent more time implementing the feature before delivery, to save time that might be needed to make changes after release.

What’s next?

This is just the beginning of an appropriate agile iteration during development time. Other parts of the UCD methodology will be put in place as we begin development for 7.4, including more interaction with customers during design and validation.


Tags: Vision