Be it Singapore’s famed high-rise condominiums that feature communal recreational facilities, or big telecom corporations monitoring and tracking employee health – each of them is investing in digital platforms to keep their customers and employees happy. Extentia is proud to have played a pivotal role in these initiatives.
Whether for the residential or institutional user, it is an age of diminishing attention spans. Competing stimuli on the world’s smallest yet most valuable piece of real estate – the mobile screen – makes a friction-free experience essential for any digital experience.
So, every business, be it a service or product-based organization, is now investing in improving their customer’s experience. Many organizations are investing millions of dollars in transforming their businesses and bringing customer experience to the forefront.
Creating that great customer experience (CX) is a potent combination of user experience design (UX), user interface design (UI), and brand experience design (BX) combined with strong technical implementation.
The beautiful process of creating great CX
A team of business analysts, researchers, product specialists, user experience designers, interface designers, and stakeholders come together to craft an experience. They start by understanding the industry, business goals, and study target customers and competitors. In this phase, a competitive audit is essential, to recognize rivals’ strengths and differentiate from them. The value proposition that finally emerges from this cognitive phase is in unison with the company’s product and the customer’s desire.
Post competitor analysis, in-depth interviews with the subject are conducted, complemented with market data. A thorough examination of the intended user – who they are, what they believe in, and what drives them is the start of the process.
Mapping the customer journey and their touchpoints with the brand is the next crucial step, as it allows designers to pin down the customer’s motivations and needs at each stage and create the appropriate design solutions.
Armed with the touch points, motivation factors, analysis of the end user and industry – the UX designer lays out the Information Architecture and groups the features of the product.
This process is followed by low fidelity wireframes that represent the page structure as well as its hierarchy and key elements.
UI designers slowly start converting the low fidelity prototypes into colorful interfaces, visually guiding the user through a product’s interface, evoking a reaction, and encouraging interaction across all sizes of devices and platforms. Cooperation and collaboration with software developers also fall under the UI designer’s tasks.
With broad experience in the CX design methodology – built over close to two decades in the field, Extentia believes that customer, user, and brand experience design are vital components in a continuum of skill sets to render the optimal end-to-end experience to the end customer.
Conventionally, advertising agencies may have branding and visual skills, while IT companies may boast of the full arsenal of code, development, and implementation. In this scenario, customer and user experience would be outsourced or technology development takes center stage with UI being an afterthought.
What Makes Extentia Unique
A creative ferment of cross-trained talent co-located in the same space is what distinguishes Extentia’s delivery of business communication design services, which include videos, presentations, journey maps, mobile prototypes, among other offerings. Of the 400 staff at Extentia, 60 are design-focused, quite likely the largest that any IT firm maintains internally.
The core team that takes on projects is composed of a business analyst, a usability expert, a user interface designer, storytellers, and the Director – Design and Experience. In addition, Extentia mixes on-site illustrators with globally distinctive styles, interaction designers, UI developers adept at HTML, project managers with a UI background, video developers, quality assurance staff, and a delivery head.
In addition, distinguishing the company’s approach is that technology is in their DNA. This assures that implementation is pitch-perfect. Extentia’s proprietary questionnaire in the discovery phase probes age groups and environmental factors of where the product will be used. For example, whether the device will be used in a factory setting or outdoors will make all the difference to the choice of display and colors.
Fifteen years of globally dispersed projects also give Extentia, insights into the preferences of different geographies and diverse verticals: Australia values UX over UI, the Europeans favor a more minimalistic and spare style, while Chinese customers prefer a more colorful and information-rich interface.
At this stage, UI designers take over – by taking all the findings and putting together a mood board, which helps determine the overall theme of the product/app. The mood board helps put together color palettes, illustrations, and visual design in one place.
Read other Extentia Blog posts here