User Experience is the study of the interaction between the company and the customer or employee. It could be a website, software, mobile application, brand colors, banners, or even a greeting at the door. The interaction between any company and their customers starts with the employees. If employees are happy and feel valued, they are more likely to stay and work for the benefit of themselves and therefore, the company. This allows the happy employee to interact with the customers and coworkers in the most professional and respectful way.
Here at iHeartMedia Corporate we have a small but mighty team working on many projects that will change the way the employees will do things in the future. In order to understand what our fellow employees do and how they can perform duties more efficiently, it’s important for the designers, programmers, and leadership team to understand their point of view. The end-user’s input should be included in anything that will change the workflow and their quality of life. Employee input can inform the company about perceptions, insights, culture, as well as workflow preferences. How do we get this valuable input? We ask! As a researcher, that’s where I come in.
In order to understand the employees' duties and to find solutions for them, we investigate and research by using methods of observation, documentation, screen captures, and interviews. We incorporate user testing methods to see how new applications will work for them. We bring back the findings to the team to discuss the best solutions considering the timeframe, resources, and feedback together. We brainstorm solutions, then create mockups for the team to be able to visualize the recommendations and communicate with their team members.
This approach helps everyone stay on the same page. The UX Team can then integrate the research, designs, and functionality into a working prototype that can then be communicated throughout the process of the build. Now we have well informed design and development decisions and saved a lot of time and money by getting it right the first time.
It's important that in the large corporation, we don't lose the human factors and sense of personality, compassion, and discretion in their decisions. Although we can program many things, much of what employees do still needs a human decision. It's important that we are prompted to keep the person in mind. It's humbling and inspiring to have this practice in our culture. It can make the difference between great employees feeling like valued members of the team or discouraged and looking for another job.