We held our meeting on 31-Aug-2016 in Majlis Cafe (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia). The subject of the meeting is to speak freely and openly about UX and the awareness of the local business. We also hold the talk with a guest speaker MR. Nur Ahmed, lead UX designer AND research in ZAD Group and group leader of UX Meetup in South Africa, who was happy to share his experience.
First, let me speak about the location and the selection process. Selecting a place is very critical for successful meeting, taking in consideration all the factors. As we are going to speak openly, with no reservation just like speaking with friends informally, it will be better to have a normal space without any projector, or mic. The place was just perfect for this.
As every professional UXer will do, looking to people needs, in my research I found there was some members who want to join us, is also looking to join another meeting just right after ours. I took this in consideration and try to make location close to the other one. Actually, our meeting was in the same building as the other meeting!
This will give some insight of UXer’s diary, he is doing UX in everything in his daily work and life. At the same time, I want to communicate the meaning of UX in practice and to convey the message: “UX is everywhere for everything.”
It is worth to mention I got a call from the Café manager to check and follow up regarding the meeting after l left. I told him everything was excellent and I feel the value of being a customer to them. Having arrangement before we go there. Then, during the meeting they take care of welcoming the guest and provide the café, tea and dates and make sure to get any other additional orders. It was really a nice customer journey for me and they did great job as per UX.
Back to the meeting itself, as mentioned in the invitation, there is no particular topic just let’s talk and see what is going on. So we basically spoke about different part of UX and if there any local clients did UX or at least care about it. Unfortunately, the awareness of UX is very, very low and even if it is introduced to the clients, or business, he will ignore it for many reasons, including the high cost and not seeing a value of it in early stages.
Even for startups, they just want to lunch very quickly and without any UX. This include high risk of failure. If he successes, he is lucky. But doing UX research and prototyping will save a lot of cost on long run and get the best apps/site out there to serve your target customers.
The most amazing point that was reveled is that even UX research and study are done prior to the project kick-off the results is ignored what so ever!!!
I think the value of the UX is not sensible as there are short number of stores and small number of big players. They dominate the market and whatever they do the customer will buy, almost. They almost work in similar way, no significate difference. So, the user will get the same experience (not good one) and feel the same. I used to buy a vacuum cleaner from a big store, I have very bad experience with after sales services. Until I decide to buy another one, even the one I have was expensive and functional. Believe it or not, I bought from the same store! Why? Because of the limited options I got out there and competition on finding the best price and offer. One of the strangest service is that you buy the item from the store and the after sales support (or after sales service) is from far away location. OK, I understand the warranty and the service is provided from the local dealer, but you need to be the same channel as we buy from, you can also provide the service by taking this item into the dealer on behave of the customer. Given the customer bad day and bad experience is the specialty for the local store!
Again to the point, user experience is not only in online site or just in check out process. It’s very bigger than that and has a lot to do with total customer experience and service design. To be honest, I am seeing a raise of good user experience sites and apps from fresh startup. Still they are very few and needs extensive work to achieve the optimum experience. Success doesn’t come overnight and the hard work is continuous, look at amazon.com at early days, how it’s look likes, and where it now stands for. Remember Amazon.com is 22 years old and has done a lot of work regarding UX.
Seeing a local business like amazon.com requires full UX mindset. Moreover, the top management needs to have a faith in UX by pushing the UX process and methods of UX to include in the all the business functions. If you do not believe how small changes make a different, you may read about how adding a button to amazon website increase the sales up to $300 M. Remember, this small change come after extensive research and interviews.
To sum up, here are the quick points that was discussed during the meetup:
- There is a ZERO request for UX at the beginning of the project for startup. Some of them request UX after lunch.
- The contextual content is very important for end-users.
- Knowing well your target customers is very important toward your success of your product.
- A few researches are done, even though the result is neglected.
- Customer service is very bad in current state, even worst in online world.
- Looking around and getting users feedback is very important and critical.
At the end, it was a great meetup and networking to meet creative people out there. The UX in the region has very high potential once the business feels its power. At the comment section below please share your idea and you experience with local business service and how you see UX fit.
Wait, there one more thing. If you interested in learning more about UX, there is a great resource from https://www.interaction-design.org for you just click here and signup and get one extra month free. It really a great wealth of information and courses.
Stay tune for out next meeting. Thank you.
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