When developing software, bear in mind the multi-experience world that surrounds your solution’s end user. Fast-paced changes in corporate models often imply a fall back when it comes to making effective decisions that will have a positive impact on our users and customers, as well as our business.
This post is intended to indicate four technology aspects that you should take into account in advance to achieve the positioning of an intelligent company and to build a business solution that will have a direct impact on the experience of your users.
Towards user multi-experience
When designing a technology solution, in order to achieve an intelligent solution that will succeed in the transition towards multi-experience, you should consider the user’s world in relation to four fundamental aspects:
(1) Make it multi-platform, responsive, and PWA: some time ago, conversations in the software world and among programmers revolved around whether solutions should be implemented as web, web mobile or native mobile. Those discussions become useless in the presence of a multi-platform tool that enables us to create both at the same time, with a reasonable effort. That is to say, a Multi-platform–Browser-based tool. The application must be web, responsive, and flexible. To reach all users, it must run on all devices; and it must also be PWA (Progressive Web Applications) in order to guide the corresponding native app and thus gain loyalty (Reach, Engage, get Loyalty).
With that same tool, and based on the same business definitions, we can make the app native in Android, iOS, and TV, and integrated with Wearables, involving the users in the business processes.
Users will then be able to access not only through cell phones, tablets and desktops, but also through multiple devices, which will be increasingly more in the future! In that sense, the GX28 app for the past GeneXus Meeting was meant for the following devices: native Android and iOS for telephones and tablets, native Apple Watch, native Apple TV, web Desktop and mobile. Over 4,000 people attended the event, and the online attendance through the web implied more than 70,000 during the three days. Part of the success of that online conference viewing was due to the fact that every user had the chance to follow the event from any screen desired or available. Another example is the shop Tienda Inglesa which offers the Web and the Web Mobile apps, as well as the Native Applications for each user’s favorite device (iOS, Android).
(2) Design System consistency in the UI: multiple accesses and interfaces imply the need for design consistency. The concern of large-scale corporations in this respect has led to Design Systems: a group of principles, patterns and practices meant to increase consistency and ease of maintenance in the solutions they create, which in turn reflect the company’s or the ecosystem’s principles. Large companies have made their design systems public so that everyone building solutions for their ecosystems, their users, will abide by their design practices, offering a consistent experience. Some examples are Airbnb and Google, or SAP with Fiori, among others. And most probably, all our companies will be dealing with this shortly. For example, in our ecosystem, K2B is currently developing its own Design System, as announced at the GX28 by K2B’s CEO Karina Santo.
(3) Considering a Zero UI: when we speak of multi-experience and aiming at the maximum possible with the concept of Artificial Intelligence, we arrive at the idea of Zero UI (also known as Invisible Interface). The Amazon GO is a key case in regards to Zero UI, where you simply access to take the things you will purchase and exits, while things happen invisibly. Through the app, Amazon knows you, and it also knows that you accessed the store. By means of sensors in the articles bought, the system can tell what you are purchasing and proceeds to charge your buy. At GeneXus we are working on some projects that we can’t talk about yet because they haven’t reached the production stage yet, but we will be informing everybody about it as soon as possible.
(4) Solving part of communications with Conversational Interfaces: we are also on our way to conversational UIs, also known as virtual assistants. Gartner forecasts an extensive use for them (25% of Customer Service Operations by 2020), specifically in relation to user assistance. The reason for this is quite clear: there is a huge impact on experience in relation to, for example, an IVR. The chatbot understands natural language, both written and spoken, and is capable of an instant reply with links or embedded application components, in addition to the possibility of performing tasks for us and scaling to a human when it has no more answers. The experience is incomparably better than everything we are used to.
At GeneXus, we are now experimenting with this technology, on a project that particularly focuses on making a user’s search turn into a conversation and vice versa. The idea is to resort to Artificial Intelligence in order to offer enhanced guidelines to those who inquire about our products and services. The GeneXus Community includes several companies that have already implemented solutions with chatbots, even with the possibility of providing associated products as in the case of TH Desenvolvimento.