Putting the customer at the centre of product design

Based at our Kingston-Upon-Thames office, User Experience (UX) is a growing team, established a couple of years ago to help create cloud-based tax and accounting products that are intuitive and easy to use.

Elite Avner Torbit, Lead UX Designer for tax and accounting products, explains the team’s role in the development of new cloud products, and invites you to be part of the design process.

Not a cosmetic exercise

A great user experience happens by design, not by accident. A UX designer’s job is not about choosing the colours and graphics for an attractive user interface. It’s about making the product work in the way our customers would expect it to.

To give an example of a typical UX project, last year we interviewed users of the then brand-new Digital Data Request tool. As you may know, this tool saves time by enabling tax advisers to receive information from their clients digitally in a format that can populate the tax return with minimal intervention. The feedback from early adopters was most helpful in enabling us to release design improvements by Q4.

We dig deep below the surface to help everyone at Wolters Kluwer to focus on the user, sharing our deep knowledge and understanding among team members and more widely across Wolters Kluwer.

No one team has all the answers. We enlist the power of collaboration to generate innovative solutions. Cross-functional teams drawn from product management, sales, support and elsewhere work together on defining the problem, exploring options and refining possibilities.

A collaborative approach

One of our core values is that everything is an assumption until it’s validated by the customer, so we put our assumptions to the test with real users.

That’s why a large part of our work involves talking directly with customers, understanding their needs, goals and pain points and doing our utmost to see the world through their eyes. We want to put new features and functionality through their paces as many times as possible before they hit the streets, so we seek user and colleague feedback at every opportunity.

To help us reach customers willing to contribute, last year we created the UX Lab, a community of users who have agreed to participate in the product design process. They opt in when a project arises that aligns with their interests.

During the project we communicate with these user volunteers, interviewing them in person or via a web link, asking questions, and sharing mock-ups and prototypes. Does the way they are using a new feature in the ‘real world’ match our expectations?

We may visit them in their office to observe how they work and interact with the software. We have special tools at our disposal to help us do this in an objective, analytical way.

It is never a case of ‘job done’ once new software or new features are live. As you can see from our work on the Digital Data Request tool, mentioned earlier, we continue to seek the user’s viewpoint as part of our continuing product management process.

Join the UX Lab

Would you like to influence the design of our new cloud-based products? Does the UX Lab sound something you’d like to be involved in?

Please complete our online form and we’ll be in touch to tell you more.

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