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According to a survey conducted by Econsultancy and Adobe, optimizing the customer experience is right at the top of the list of digital trends for 2016 – ahead of other areas such as creating compelling content for digital experiences and leveraging data to improve client marketing.

Customer experience is more important than the product

For brands, the customer experience has become as important as the product itself. Companies are having to rethink how their product or service can improve consumers’ daily lives. A successful customer experience will result in an increase in income for the company :

  1. Generated by an increase in the average incomes of consumers who have been won over
  2. Maintained by a fall in the customer departure rate and an increase in the average length of time that people remain as customers
  3. Bolstered by additional sales resulting from new customers being acquired through recommendation

The impact on the company’s financial performance is therefore quite significant. Designing a rich, intuitive user interface will make all the difference.

 

Validating the conceptual idea

People sometimes see the prototyping stage as a waste of time, a phase that should be completed as quickly as possible. And yet, it’s a fundamental part of the design process and will save both time and money. It’s the ideal opportunity to try out the app, conceptualize your idea, push back its boundaries, identify needs, and conduct tests… before starting all over again!

Overall, there are 4 stages involved :

  1. Create a beta version of the app
  2. Test it on the target users
  3. Learn from your users’ feedback
  4. Rethink the app to optimize it

Stage 1 defines the service and the experience that the brand intends to deliver to its customers. Primary and secondary people are identified, needs are determined, the brand’s solution is defined, the type of relationship that the brand wants to have with its customers is decided upon, and the “usage value” that the app delivers to customers is identified. This model can be used to refine the application’s functions and features.

Stage 2 involves testing the beta app in order to find out where and why the customer experience represents a break in the customer acquisition or loyalty development process.

Stage 3 looks at areas in which improvements can be made in order to make the app more intuitive, faster, improve its ergonomic design, etc. The aim is to take your idea and turn it into a service that provides value or meets one of your customers’ needs – in other words, something they can use.

Stage 4 is crucial : being able to optimize your application and guarantee its future success are contingent on having properly understood and analyzed the previous stages. This is when you can use prototyping to help you finalize:

  • Your app’s business features and functions
  • Its ergonomic characteristics
  • Its design

Innovation through testing

What are the criteria for choosing the right tool ? Prototyping an application involves a varied selection of people : the designer, the developer, the IT department. It involves all the parties who have an interest in the app’s development – the marketing department, sales reps, the legal department, distribution, logistics, etc. How effective it is depends on:

  • Ideas being discussed and shared
  • The speed of implementation
  • Being able to quickly try out your ideas in order to improve on them

This agile methodology involves using agile tools – so that your application can be iteratively designed. There are numerous solutions available on the market. The Wakanda platform offers a unique option: you can design your app with a graphic editor and link your own data model to it.

With the GUI editor, you can quickly design and develop your application to confirm that the idea behind it, the concept and its business features and functions all work. Being able to adopt a graphic approach to designing your own data model brings the designer and the developer closer together: you create the structure of your application directly using your data. This means that the prototype you will be able to test – and optimize directly by publishing it to the Cloud – will be perfectly functional. This agile prototyping method gives you the flexibility you need to design bespoke applications in shorter lead times.