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KISTERS & User Experience Design

Technology & Trends

KISTERS & User Experience Design

It is important that software offers the user a simple and pleasant experience, in addition to being technically correct, reliable, secure and fast. A positive user experience (UX) is often decisive. Our UX team focuses on optimizing and continuing to develop the user experience of new and existing KISTERS solutions.

The goal: Satisfied users who enjoy working with our software.

To achieve this goal, we incorporate the needs of different user groups into the design. Two examples: The design of our software takes the different levels of experience and expertise of our users into account. Occasional users (such as technical specialists, management, and analysts) can quickly and easily achieve their desired results, while experts can intuitively use the complete range of functions. Beyond this, we know that more and more customers use our software on smartphones and tablets. The interaction and visualization needs on these devices differ significantly from desktop PCs. The KISTERS Water Portal is the right solution for these needs.

Simple solutions for complex processes

The Design team at KISTERS works on both the processes and appearance of the user interface. User workflows are optimally mapped in our software – even when the tasks they describe are very complex. The software guides users in a goal-oriented way through their tasks. It reacts to interactions as users expect and offers hints for appropriate actions. It is also important to us that the users find the appearance of the software pleasing and can personalize it according to their preferences.

Iterative design process with modern tools

At KISTERS, we use a proven iterative process with five defined, sequential steps:

  1. Understand (goals): Why does the user use the software? What are they hoping to achieve?
  2. Define (context): Who will work with the software? In which scenarios will it be used?
  3. Sketch (structure): What should the structure of the solution be, i.e. what are the workflows? Here, first prototypes are built.
  4. Design (refinement): What opportunities are there to better support the users?
  5. Test (learning): What do users say? How do they interact with the prototypes?

The steps are repeated iteratively and – importantly – learning  from the previous round are carried into the next iteration. In this way, we successively approach the best solution.

We use modern UX tools that support rapid prototyping in the design process. This means that a new design proposal can quickly be taken from a sketch to a prototype which looks and feels like the finished software. You can click around in these prototypes and make entries, etc., in order to validate the behavior of the software before it is built.

Especially important: feedback

We incorporate feedback as early as possible, both from users and from colleagues who were not involved in the design process. We not only ask testers how they like a new design in general, we also have them perform tasks with the prototype. We examine whether and how quickly the testers reach their goal, which paths they use to do this and where they might fail to complete a task, etc. In the next design iteration, we implement what we have observed and learned.

The UX team works hand in hand with the software developers, and they contribute their experience to the design process from an early stage. To enable this, we use defined, software-supported communications processes that are especially efficient and avoid misunderstandings.

… And how do customers benefit?

Customers receive improved functions and features with regular software updates. And with the Water Portal, KISTERS relies on modern web technologies that greatly simplify operation for occasional users – any time and everywhere using mobile devices.

Some UX improvements are directly visible, such as a new, simpler launch and login screen, while others are only noticeable within the workflows. Together, all of these small improvements increase the user-friendliness of our software.

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