User Experience (UX) encompasses all the interactions an end-user has with a data integration platform or product. UX is central to every interaction between the brand and the end-user, from the product itself to social media and marketing. As a result, it directly impacts conversion, customer attraction, referrals, customer retention, and lifetime value.
Research demonstrates that the visit-to-lead conversion is 400% higher if the website or app offers a superior user experience. Additionally, 84% of users agree that user experience is as essential as the provided service or product.
Since the customer experience stakes have never been higher, it is crucial to significantly invest time, effort, and financial resources into UX research. In this guide, you’ll see why UX research is critical for the success of data integration design and development.
Why mustn’t you skip UX research?
The initial step and one of the most critical activities of a product-design cycle is user research. All the money, time, and effort spent by your team will be for naught if you end up developing a product that nobody wants to use. Therefore, UX research must precede UX strategy to eliminate unnecessary assumptions from the design and development process. Furthermore, research will help you find the ideal people to move your platform design-forward and make the necessary alterations.
Skipping the UX research stage can have severe repercussions for your product. It is impossible to create a data integration platform without knowing how it adds value to users.
Some of the reasons why you must not compromise on conducting UX research are:
I. Proper research allows you to create research that offers value to users
II. Ensures the completion of tasks by users without errors
III. Reduces the learning curve for your product
IV. Validates your hypotheses
V. It helps you identify early adopters and understand the ROI for UX design
VI. Teaches you about your competitors’ products
Why is UX research critical to product success?
Helps in discovering the differences between varied user groups
A target audience might have similar needs, but there are fundamental differences within the targeted audience. These differences offer critical insights that help to shape the product experience. UX research helps in identifying those differences and allows you to create a data integration platform that is uniform and yet, appeals to every user from your targeted group.
The best method to discover differences between varied user groups is by conducting surveys and ethnographic research.
Comprehends the mental modes of different users
Mental models are created from people’s perceptions of the world around them. Therefore, for designing a successful data integration platform, you need to understand the mental models of your target audience. By comprehending the way users think, you can deliver an experience that engages a user positively and meets the specifications of their mental framework.
Contextual inquiry is one of the methods to obtain information regarding the context of use.
Determines how the end-users perform specific tasks
How a user interacts with the platform you are designing is a vital factor to consider. Daily reports, active listening, and clickstream analysis are the go-to methods to figure out how users perform specific tasks on the platform you are designing.
Gives clarity on feature prioritization
Without the right features, your data integration platform or any product will never succeed. Your platform must be equipped with all the features your target audience needs. You must know which elements are essential and which ones are less important. Moreover, one of the best methods to find out the interests, pain points, and needs of your target audience is creating user personas. Creating personas will help you map everything back to your users, validate your design decisions, and prioritize feature requests.
UX research to create a product in a shorter time period
When you invest considerable time and effort into UX research, you help build your product faster. So, don’t view UX research as a time-consuming process but think about the time it’ll help you save when you start designing and developing the data integration platform. Equipped with all the facts and figures, you can accelerate the overall development process.
UX research results
I. Increase sign-ups and conversion rates
II. Increase customer satisfaction and NPS
III. Reduced customer service calls and enhanced loyalty to the brand
Besides, the integration of UX research helps the development process in the following ways:
I. Reduces the production costs and minimizes the development time
II. It gives an in-depth view of the users’ pain points, mental models, and goals
III. Uncovers valuable insights about your target audience
Best data integration platform design practices
Today, the cloud is one of the most cutting-edge technologies. One of the critical requirements of an integration platform is infinite scaling. Customers never know when the data they have created on the app rises and falls. Therefore, adding scalability as a feature provides you with an extra edge to tackle performance bottlenecks efficiently and quickly.
Moreover, integration platforms run best when all the servers communicating are placed on the same network.
The time elapsed to sync data between the platforms is crucial, and in such situations, real-time synchronization of data is a vital consideration. In addition, this supports push-based transactions instead of schedule-based. So, when users insert data into the platform, it will be pushed for synchronization in real-time and ensure zero data loss.
Service-oriented architecture (SOA)
When it comes to data delivery, SOA is one of the widely accepted techniques. Therefore, it is important to follow standard SOA techniques when defining your architecture so that the data transferred from one platform to another follows a universal pattern. Furthermore, with the implementation of SOA, you can easily integrate other external applications and provide business intelligence. Also, there’s less platform dependency with an open-ended architecture.
Notifying an integration problem is one of the vital criteria of a successful integration platform. The platform must inform users of the most minute details of the activities they are performing during its execution. In addition, if there’s anyone else subscribed to the activity, they must be notified too. Therefore, you must consider building a notification hub to streamline the general notification processes when designing an integration platform.
Ideally, an integration platform must have one generalized notification component, and it can interact with the standard modules following the standard protocols. You can also include an open-ended API so the notification hubs can be accessed from the external world. SMS, emails, and push notifications are examples of how your platform can notify users.
Fault tolerance and failure detection measures
A good integration platform must focus on how transient failures are handled. For example, the platform might experience losses due to the unavailability of dependent apps or issues with the existing integration platform. To ensure businesses don’t get hampered, failed data must be handled accurately.
UX research forms the core of every incredible user experience. However, UX is subjective and depends on individuals using your platform. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the goals and needs of the potential users, their tasks, and the context.