Cloud Portal: Interview with Laurent Pichot, UX Design Consultant

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Le 2 April 2020

Cloud Portal: Interview with Laurent Pichot, UX Design Consultant

Laurent Pichot, UX designer at So-youz by Ai3, tells us about the work he has carried out on the Viareport Cloud Portal.

His mission: to gather information about the feelings and expectations of users and design a new Portal to enrich the Viareport user experience.

What is UX and UI design?

UX design relates to the design of the user experience (UX) of a product or service. It involves a global approach that aims to design products or services that best meet the real expectations of users, whilst providing them with the most positive experience possible (effective with a positive emotional experience).

The UX design process is iterative and generally takes place in 3 phases: research (needs, expectations and frustrations of users), the design of the solutions and then their evaluation.

The UI design (User Interface) refers to the design of the visual or graphical appearance of the product. This contributes wholly to the user experience by aiming to provide an attractive, user-friendly and intuitive interface.

What work did you do to redesign the Viareport Portal?

First, we gathered feedback from users on their expectations and obstacles to the use of the Portal in usability tests and interviews. All this feedback was then analysed and ranked by priority. This enabled us to design a new “functional” model of the Portal. Once the Portal structure was validated, we proposed various potential visual designs. Following discussions and adaptations, Viareport chose one that served as the basis for developing the final solution. We then carried out the development and testing on this new Portal.

Can you tell us more about the usability tests?

In this project, the purpose of the usability tests was to evaluate the Portal and understand the behaviours and feelings of the users about the Portal. I therefore met with and interviewed multiple users based on usage scenarios pre-defined according to their profiles.

Specifically, for a usability test, I ask the user to carry out a succession of tasks (e.g. change their Portal language, navigate to a page, etc.) in order to assess their efficiency and efficacy in completing the task as well as their feelings and level of satisfaction. These usability tests lasted around one hour for each user and took place in the user’s work environment so as to replicate their habitual conditions of use.

Besides these tests, I took the opportunity to gather additional information about the content of the Portal, such as the navigation system, the ticketing tool feedback, the documentation, iconography, the general feel, etc.

Once the tests were complete, I supplied a report detailing, for each task, the success rate, the feelings of the users and the key elements they were able to verbalise. The report also recommended improvements where possible.

Why did you place users at the heart of the process?

Understanding user habits and identifying their expectations is key to designing a good experience. By meeting and observing them, you can ascertain their work context, their habits and the potential obstacles so a future product can be proposed that adds value for them and meets all their needs.

For this, it’s important to ask them questions at each stage of the production cycle: from the design to launching the production of the product. The objective is to ensure that the choices we make in design terms are well-founded by regularly validating them with users. The objective is to provide a product or service that best meets user expectations.

What user benefits can be expected in this new version of the Portal?

The Portal has been completely redesigned. First, the navigation system has been rethought and simplified. Next, the ticketing system has been developed so the user is informed of the progress status of their tickets from the Portal.

We wanted to offer a dynamic and customisable Portal that provides real feedback to the user and assists them in their actions,  e.g. the implementation of a task manager and notification system.

The documentation and help systems have also been completely revamped. Now, users can manage their personal favourite sites directly from the Portal. These new functionalities respond to the needs expressed by the users and we hope they deliver them 100% satisfaction.

So-youz, digital agency of the Ai3 group, assists its clients with their digital transformation and user-centric design processes. The Toulouse agency has some fifteen consultants and designers.  So-youz offers UX design, UI design and service and product design solutions to improve the user experience delivered by its clients.

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