The abbreviation "UX" is on everyone's lips in the IT field these days. What does it mean, especially for DocuWare users and future product development? Christoph Lehmer, Director User Experience at DocuWare, helps us fill in some blanks.
Marion Kurtz: Christoph, what is UX?
UX is an abbreviation for User Experience and describes all the perceptions and reactions of a person when using a product, system or service. For us at DocuWare, it means how we can make the user experiences of our customers with our product and services as positive as possible.
Why is a good user experience important?
Basically, because it makes life easier and therefore more pleasant. The user experience also determines the success or failure of our products. The time when bad products are accepted is over. There are always plenty of alternatives.
Which factors influence user experience?
It starts with a product’s accessibility, how useful it is, how fun it is to use – there’s a wide variety of factors that have to be considered.
After studying psychology, Christoph Lehmer added a master's degree in Human Factors Engineering at the Technical University of Munich. Using practical UX experience he gained at BMW and MAN, he made the switch to DocuWare in 2018. As Director User Experience, Christoph has been responsible for this area since mid-2019 and is driving the strategic development of UX at the company.
How do you manage to develop a product with a good user experience?
User-centered work helps us to constantly and efficiently ensure excellent UX for our products. We consistently involve users throughout the entire product development process, reducing the risk that our product will miss the mark, not offer true benefits, or be cumbersome to use.
Can you explain this with a specific example?
Of course!One of our first projects at DocuWare where we strictly followed the user-centered approach, was the Process Planner. After we had analyzed the needs through customer discussions, it became clear they needed to map and share processes quickly, easily and without a lot of prior product knowledge. So it became our top priority to develop a tool that does all that yet also convinces with its simplicity. With the help of numerous user interviews, user tests and an iterative approach, we succeeded in meeting these needs and expectations. There is no other tool on the market with which you can map processes this easily – and is even free and ad-free to boot!
DocuWare Process Planner
What does the UX Team at DocuWare look like?
Our UX Team was launched in 2019. It consists of UX designers, UX researchers and a UX writer – now 10-person strong. We are based at the headquarters in Germering near Munich, but are responsible for product teams worldwide.
What qualifications do you need for this kind of work?
This varies by role. UX designers often have a media or communication design education and must be able to creatively turn problems into solutions. UX researchers, on the other hand, need a very deep understanding of methodology in order to truly find out (in the most unobtrusive way possible) what our users really want and need. What all roles have in common: a lot of empathy, interest in other people and really good communication skills.
Focus on user-centred working: DocuWare’s UX Team
What challenges do you face?
In my opinion, the biggest challenges can be traced back to the fact that UX is still a relatively young field and therefore often under-represented, especially compared to other disciplines in IT. We are used to focusing on technology instead of people. But here at DocuWare we are already on a very good path!
How can I – as a user – influence the product development and design of DocuWare?
You can have a direct impact through our product tester program. For example, you’ll have the opportunity to test and evaluate completely new, unreleased features. Another way to contribute ideas and suggestions for improvement: our Customer Feedback Forum. But even with quick surveys built into the product itself, we are always gathering feedback from users.
What is your favorite DocuWare feature?
I'm a big fan of all our workflow functionalities. They offer so many possibilities for mapping custom processes with DocuWare. The processes are not only digitized, but also simplified and, whenever possible, automated.
Your personal motto?
Due to the technological progress of recent decades, there are countless possibilities for developing products and services. To make the world more livable and less complicated for all of us… I completely agree with industrial designer Dieter Rams: "Less, but better."
Thank you, Christoph, for this insight into your work!
The interview was conducted by Marion Kurtz, Product Marketing Manager at DocuWare
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