Understanding the user’s experience
By observing how people interact with products at ASSA ABLOY’s User Experience Lab, Iva Radosevic is able to understand end-users pain points. The insights she gains help create solutions that meet or exceed customers’ needs.
Many people are familiar with the expression “the customer is always right”. But for UX (user experience) researcher Iva Radosevic, the more appropriate expression is “the user is always right.”
Iva spends much of her time conducting interviews with product users. These could be installers, service providers, homeowners or any potential users of ASSA ABLOY products. She observes them to see how they interact with products or prototypes. “We put users in focus so that we understand their needs and can create solutions and products that improve their work practices and lives,” she says.
The interviews and observations normally take place at the ASSA ABLOY Shared Technologies’ User Experience Lab, where users might, for example, install a lock or a sensor on a door or test a new mobile application in what resembles a hotel corridor. The lab is modular, so that windows, doors and walls can be rearranged to simulate real-life scenarios.
“By observing and interviewing people, we try to identify the main pain points in their daily lives and get a complete understanding of the user’s requirements within the context in which they might use a product or a service,” says Iva.
UX research provides proof
Products go through an iterative process after testing to match user needs. “Seeing people in action provides valuable insights, which leads to product changes and improvements,” Iva adds.
Such insights are extremely important because without them, product designers and developers would simply be guessing what customers want, she says. “With research and testing we have some proof. We see if something is working or not working and we know why.”
Even if the product is out on the shelves, you still need to gather research to know if people are satisfied or not and how to support people
Yet one of the biggest challenges for Iva is convincing people to do user research – and preferably right from the pre-product innovation (PPI) stage. “The iterative and continuous application of user research methodologies is critical to the success of the development process,” she says. “It might just be small things that need changing for everything to function well.”
The research never stops
User experience research is something that has to be repeated throughout the commercial process, she adds. “Even if the product is out on the shelves, you still need to gather research to know if people are satisfied or not and how to support people. So, the research never stops.”
You get to work with so many different projects that are relevant to society and daily life that have an impact on so many people
Iva, who has a master’s degree in computer science, joined ASSA ABLOY in August 2017 after working as a researcher at the Swiss-Swedish industrial giant ABB and freelancing in interaction design and visual design for start-ups. She says she brags to her friends about her new employer. “I think the company really takes care of its employees and is flexible to work with. You get to work with so many different projects that are relevant to society and daily life that have an impact on so many people. I think that’s an opportunity that you can’t get just anywhere.”
Words: Cari Simmons Photos: Nicklas Gustafsson
Iva’s tips for a good user experience (UX)
- You are not your users. What you think will work is not enough – you need to know your user and understand their needs.
- Invest time in understanding your users and what they need by doing the research.
- A good user experience requires more than one person, so co create – everyone in the company has a role to play in creating a good user experience.
- Test everything you are creating at all stages of development with real users.
- The iterative and continuous application of user research methodologies is critical to the success of the development process.