Journey through Enterprise IT Services
In Journey through Enterprise IT Services, Nadhan, HP Distinguished Technologist, explores the IT Services industry, and discusses technology trends in simplified terms.

Application user interfaces can really be driven by user sentiment

Remember the time when we used to have user focus groups to determine the most optimal and effective design for websites? It was usually a group of users, around a table in the room, sharing their opinions or drawing on whiteboards.


Add the Submit button on the right. Prompt the user for confirmation.


You do this with a focus group and think you have consensus. Then, when you deploy the applications, you get mixed reactions from a subset of the extended base of users. Wouldn't it be nice to have technology that can actually monitor and measure what users are actually on live websites? Wouldn’t it be nice to analyze thousands of interactions, which in turn can surface the real user sentiment around the interface?


Users are people too. And in all fairness, they are likely to exhibit the right behavior when they are presented with the right live options. But people can visualize only to a certain extent. Kind of like test-driving a car. Doing so allows them to focus on their core competency—the business process—without having to visualize the interface. When I attended #BB1787 – Human information without borders: Autonomy cloud solutions at HP Discover,I was glad to see that this is possible today.


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After walking through the manner in which Autonomy leverages the Converged Cloud solution, George Tziahanas, SVP, Legal and Compliance Solutions, provided various scenarios where this technology has been applied. When talking about the Marketing Optimization tool from Autonomy, Tziahanas explained how one can actually glean the user sentiment around various interface characteristics, which can drive what they do or don't do, by measuring thousands of actual interactions. So it’s not just important to have the right test environment for cloud computing, it’s also important to test the right functionality in the cloud. In this case, that’s user preferences. You can actually have the users experience different interface designs of a live application, and then make appropriate adjustments based on their sentiment. The term pilot takes on a new meaning with tools like Autonomy's Marketing Optimization Tool.


How about you? What types of tools and techniques do you use to understand the sentiment of your user community?


Please let me know.


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