We congratulate our front-end software development department on passing the CPUX certification program from International Usability and UX Qualification Board (UXQB) offered to us by Certible.
Naturally, optimizing user experience has been at the forefront of developing our solutions since the beginning but with a certification based on recognized standards, in particular, the ISO 9241-series, our team has made their expert knowledge official.
We asked some of them how they feel about their accomplishment.
Do you see UX differently now?
Miraldo Fifić: First you have to differentiate between usability and user experience (UX). As a purely technical developer, I was used to considering the usability of what I program based on personal experiences and trying to put myself in our customer’s shoes – in jargon ‘human-centered design’. What I can say is that this course has definitely broadened my horizon when it comes to UX.
User experience goes one step further by not only regarding users’ interaction with the platform but also considering how they were made aware of the platform, from where they accessed the platform, how they interact with it (usability), how they communicate with us, the supplier, should they have any issues.
Taking all of these things into account has taken us out of our developer bubble and allowed for us to see the bigger picture and acknowledge that, with which our Product Managers are confronted on a regular basis.
Why did this training and certification happen in the first place?
Michael Hafner: By now I have quite a few years of development work in the area of user interfaces behind me and I’ve seen many trends and supposed standards come and go. Considering panagenda is always eager to continually progress its developers and improve our software products, it quickly became clear that a user experience certification can only be beneficial to my colleagues and me.
A small challenge for me was learning the material for the exam. Although you’re always learning when working in software development, to study for an exam is something very different. I have to admit that I was a little nervous on the day of the exam. When sitting down for a test with 3 other colleagues, you don’t want to be the only one who fails. The 90 minutes of the exam flew by and I left the room unsure about how I went. Shortly afterward though, before I even got back to the office, the liberating email came: Success!
Are things going to improve at panagenda in terms of usability?
Vincent Buri: In my opinion, the biggest change is going to be the way in which we communicate with one another. Having always had usability on our minds, we knew under what circumstances we needed to discuss it more actively. The issue before this course was two-fold. First, we didn’t necessarily include UX at the beginning of the planning process. With the official implementation of agile development, it’s the first thing we do before allocating tasks.
Second, each person had their own way of bringing across their point and often required some clarification before everyone understood. Ever since the course, we’re all on the same page from the get-go. If clarification is necessary, we now save a lot of time because we all speak the same usability language. We know when to bring it up and often just need to say a keyword so that everyone understands what is meant. This will definitely pay off in terms of efficiency.
What are you going to do differently now to before?
Christian Böhm: It’s difficult to pinpoint any one thing that I am going to do differently because the course has taught many things that I will most certainly integrate into our existing processes. As Vincent already mentioned, usability is not a new phenomenon that we are only now implementing. The team and I have practiced it ever since we started working for panagenda.
In fact, most of the usability aspects of the course we’ve already been practicing, still it was great to have the confirmation that we were doing many things correctly. The main thing that will change is that the process of development will be more organized. That reduces the amount of time we need to create excellent user interfaces and increases customer satisfaction significantly.