UX training in Oslo 2017

On the 19-20th of September, the HRM UX team hosted a UX Marathon for 20+ of their stakeholders in Oslo, Norway, with the goal of mapping out the customer journey together and create a shared understanding of current user needs. The following post is written by one of the participants, Armands Ķirītis:

For me the UX Marathon days was something I was really looking forward to. Although I have been working as a BA/PO for the last couple of years, my areas of responsibility have been pretty closely connected to user experience, so improving and polishing the UX knowledge I have is something I have always wanted to do.

Usually, a standard UX Marathon at Visma runs over the course of three days. During those three days the participants go through all the steps in the classic UCD-process.

The UCD-process model used at Visma.

 

However, this UX Marathon was cut short and had to be planned for two days instead. Because of this, we skipped the validating/testing phase and focused on identifying issues with our product and finding potential solutions for them through user research and concept development. In hindsight, I think it actually helped us to focus more on that part and not get overwhelmed with too much info at once.

The nice surprise we got was that the UX team had arranged real user interviews for us. After getting some instructions my group called Mona, who has been using HRM for a bit over two months. It was really nice to work on some real feedback that we acquired ourselves. It was definitely a good catalyst for the already high motivation to dig deep and find some solutions.

After the interviews we added pain points and delights to the customer journey.

On the second day of the marathon, we focused on conceptualizing potential solutions. Using the Design Studio methodology, we found quite a lot of ideas on how to improve Mona’s experience of onboarding our product, which was my groups area of focus. We were encouraged to steal each others ideas and to try to  improve them, and that was exactly what we did. That involved a lot of actual drawing on paper, discussions and evaluations of ideas, which added up into a bunch of ideas that we will really look into in order to make Mona’s and other user’s onboarding experience much more pleasant.

During the pitching and  critique sessions we put our sketches on the wall to gain a better overview of everyone’s ideas.

I think the chance to talk to real users made all of this much more serious. Once you hear the pain directly from the source, instead of just solving some abstract tasks (which can often be the case with these kinds of activities), it all becomes much more real. People really dig deep and make the best use of the tools and methods that was presented by the UX team.

Group picture – We made it!

I got a lot of takeaways and want to say a huge thank you to everybody who was responsible for creating this amazing experience for whole two days. The ideas we got during the marathon will definitely be worked on and implemented into our product.

Armands has a MSc in Computer Science and over 9 years of experience in business analysis. He works as a Product Business Analyst (BA) in the Visma.net HRM Employee Management UI team, where he works closely with UX designers to create the best user experience for the customers.
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