Nearly all executives would agree that user experience is among the most important factors in building a strong following for any brand. What is less clear, however, is how exactly that role is defined within an organization.
This was the topic of conversation during a session appropriately titled, “User Experience: Whose job is it anyway?” at Pegaworld 2016 in Las Vegas on Monday.
“Building our user experience has been a highly iterative process,” Shaun Wortis, Director of Product Design at Pegasystems, explained to attendees. “We need to be mindful, not only of our own out-of-the-box product, but also of how our users will expand on that with their own applications.”
Joining the panel was Richard West, Executive Director of JPMorgan Chase. Part of West’s role has been the development of Beacon, a platform that allows seamless workflow within the organization, and enables enhanced coordination between departments. West admits that the program was far from being universally embraced upon launching.
“One of our team members came up and told us ‘Your platform is terrible.’ I didn’t have much of a response for him, which those that while we had user experience in the back of our minds, we definitely weren’t all the way there yet.”
A primary challenge when making the user experience transformation was simply allocating tasks: each member of the group needed to find their role in the process, and how they could best complete it.
“We took it upon ourselves to answer two very simple, yet important questions,” West said. “Where am I [in the process], and what am I supposed to do?”
By taking the time and resources necessary to think about these questions, West’s team was able to more effectively design a user experience that provided the speed, efficiency, and most importantly, ease required to make the Beacon platform a beneficial tool.
West’s journey with JPMorgan Chase may have been a success story, but user experience is often a rocky road. Alignment with stakeholders can be a difficult hurdle to overcome, but is essential determining the direction of UX design. These stakeholders may resist any kind of change, regardless of potential benefits to the organization.
“One thing that can help is to administer usability tests on the platform, and once you prove that the user experience isn’t working, and is inefficient for the business,” Wortis added. “Once you have these test results, post them everywhere; you need to hold people accountable for the platform, and the value it provides the company.”
Quite simply, user experience should be a top priority for platform developers. Without solid UX, a platform is substantially held back from achieving its full potential. Dedicating resources to this end is essential to a polished final product.

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