What do your users think of your products?
Any smart website designer or software company tests its products, not just for things like basic functionality, but for how the end user interacts with it. San Jose-based UserZoom recently published the results of a survey on user experience trends, and the results are fascinating. Survey respondents reported that the top trends impacting the user experience over the next five years will be Artificial Intelligence (80%), Voice Interfaces (64%), Automation (47%), and the Internet of Things (46%).
UserZoom’s study shows that user experience is slowly finding its place in industries beyond software, moving into fields as diverse as healthcare, transportation/automotive, biotech, banking, sports, education, and retail.
Gary Dostal, Manager – Mechanical Engineering, Komatsu Mining Corp. Group, told me that his company recently held customer review meetings for gathering feedback in areas including joystick controls and positioning, and seating options for cab design.
“We have local field service personnel that gather customer and operator input and relay that back to engineering and manufacturing,” he said. “Currently, we have two engineering field rotations at customer copper and oil sands sites. They serve as a direct interface with our customers to voice needs and to work with them on evaluating solutions.” Dostal explained that they also gain input on new hardware during build of their first machines at the customer sites, along with close field follow to capture items for continuous improvement. Those items are recorded in Komatsu’s SalesForce cases and prioritized for action by the various business groups responsible.
Today, safety and ergonomics are major design focuses. In some countries, there are growing regulations for operator noise and vibration exposure as well as emission regulations that must be met to sell products in those locations.
“There certainly are competitive advantages to gaining early experience related results to make better design and business case decisions,” said Dostal.
Paul J. Heney – VP, Editorial Director