2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
July 2016 - Magazine No. 202
July 2016 - Magazine No. 202
Edition:
Written By Anat Metz

In this article, I will attempt to differentiate between the terms UI and UX and state whether one is more important than the other.

UI (User Interface) refers to the parts of the system, website or application which is visible to the user and by which the user is connected to it.

User Experience (UX) is the experience the user experiences while using the system, website or application.

To illustrate the point, we can say that the UI represents the ball, goal and grass of a soccer field while the UX is the feeling you get after successfully scoring during a game.

The UX deals with the experiential aspect of the system/site/app and actually evaluates the user's feelings and level of satisfaction as a result of using the product. The experiential element is derived from the understanding that the users need both practical and emotional response- they want to feel that the website, application or software understands them and their needs, 'speaks' their language and can turn the using process comfortable, simple, user-friendly and even enjoyable.

The user experience is comprised of a rich composition of physical, cognitive and emotional components which include the right design, a comfortable and friendly interface, impressive data architecture, advanced technology and sensitivity to the users' needs. The main objective is to leave the users with a taste for more and make them want to use the system, website or application again.

The user interface has a pivotal role in the user experience: in order to realize the potential for which the users purchased the software or decided to enter the website, a smart and successful user interface is critical. When referring to the user interface we are actually discussing the connection between the user and the technology- the component exposed to the users and is viewed by them when performing any action. The quality of the interface is dictated by its developers who are supposed to translate the vision into a simple, clear and orderly physical platform.

 

Returning to our soccer game/field metaphor, the UX field will attempt to enter the player's shows and figure out how the player would probably want to feel: young, athletic, agile, confident etc. The UI field will convert this "experience picture" unto practical tools: a young, muscular player with dry-fit uniform, soft and light shoes, the right size and weight soccer ball, etc.

Nevertheless, we must remember that the user interface is only one component of many a composition which is the user experience. It is only a certain aspect of the world of UX which also involves design, data architecture, strategy, marketing and technology as well as emotional, human and sensory aspects.

Review: Design Sprint

It is not uncommon for a business to be requested by customers provide them with quick, high-quality answers for their various challenges. Making the solution accessible to customers and the general public in an optimal and efficient manner is in most cases a long process. This is also usually a cumbersome process since it requires coordinating many teams, logistic challenges, availability, good communication etc.

One method used in order to speed up matters as well as enhance their efficiency in order to move matters forward is the Design Sprint (DS). The DS is a work method developed by Google and is meant to answer important business questions through design, creating prototypes and reviewing ideas together with the customers. This method involves several teams working for 2-5 intense days and quickly creating exact solutions for core problems. During the sprint teams comprised of product, UX, technology, sales and management personnel are closed in one room in which they deconstruct and reconstruct a current UX challenge or a future idea. In this type of meeting everyone contributes all of their knowledge and creativity for the shared cause, hopefully coming up with an alternative solution, a conceptual prototype tested by users as well as a clear "to-do" list for tomorrow morning.

The entire DS process consists of six stages, each possessing its individual methodology:

  1. Understand: understanding the needs of the users, the organization and the technological abilities
  2. Define: defining the strategic focus.
  3. Diverge: reviewing as many ideas as possible.
  4. Decide: choosing the best ideas.
  5. Prototype: building a prototype which will be tested on users.
  6. Validate: testing the ideas on IT experts and stakeholders.

 

The process results in a solution suitable for the customers. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the sprint is only the first stage which is followed by another cycle of product characterization, design, reviews etc. That said, this method allows different knowledge experts to group together and quickly find the most efficient solution for the organization not having to deal with cumbersome bureaucracy and lack of coordination between teams.

I wish you success.

References:

 

https://developers.google.com/design-sprint/downloads/DesignSprintMethods.pdf

Based on a lecture by Dana Cohen-Brown, a strategic consultant for product and user experience http://uxi.org.i

 

 

Written By Nurit Lin

The consequential thought methodology and the logical model are increasingly gaining popularity in many organizations as tools for effectively planning projects, missions or organizational processes. The world of KM is not an exception to this phenomenon. Much has been written and spoken of this model's advantages and simple charm. This article will focus on the other side of the KM project, i.e. the evaluation and assessment stage, and explain how the logical model is of assistance at this stage as well.

Generally speaking, consequential thinking (the logical model included) involve reverse thinking. The starting point of this methodology requires understanding the need and as a result- the result we wish to reach (including intermediate objectives). Only after these were clearly defined do we go back and analyze the components required in order to attain this goal: who is the target audience, what are the relevant characteristics of this target audience, what are the activities required in order to achieve the desired result and what are the required resources.

The logical method's foundation itself encompasses a contribution that can be utilized when managing a KM project during the evaluation and assessment stage, which is: an in-depth and precise definition of the project's objective. This is unfortunately not a trivial matter. It is not uncommon for one to encounter organizational processes planned and implemented while it is unclear what problem they are intended to solve, to what change that will benefit the workers are they supposed to lead, or what are they meant to achieve at all. Obviously, without knowing the objective it is nearly impossible to evaluate success (since it depends on comparing our "ought" and "is"). It is even more difficult to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of our work method and performance.

Yet, the logical model offers even more. In order to plan the project correctly, and in order to be able to able to perform said evaluation process, it is recommended to break the process into interim goals and final goals. For each goal, we will define what is considered success. For example, regarding interim goals success could be considered the target audience becoming aware of the KM solution and its purpose (a goal related to an awareness-oriented change). An example of a "final result success" could be a behavioral change or solving the problem which led to creating/applying this solution in the first place (a goal related to a behavioral change).

Furthermore, we must define the means by which we will define said success in attaining our goals. The logical model adds on the ability to evaluate not only the KM solution but the project itself. It also allows us to analyze the different moves made in order to reach each goal and gain the required resources.

Some questions that can be useful include:

Was the resource X used as planned in terms of time, cost and/or quality?

Was activity Y performed as planned in terms of time, cost and/or quality?

Did activity Z lead to the desired results?

In conclusion, it can be said that the logical model's main advantage regarding the assessment and evaluation stage of a KM project is that it leads to an optimal definition of the projects goals and the means to achieve them, breaks the project evaluation into stages and allows performing changes, alterations or adaptations along the way as well as enables recognizing elements in the process which haven't led to the their designated resulted in a sufficiently efficient manner.

 

 

Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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