UX Strategy eBook cover

Service Portal, Meet Data: The New UX Strategy

It’s always a good day when I get to announce a new eBook being added to our resource library. Written as a companion to our popular Service Portal Lookbook, today’s launch is titled The New UX Strategy: A Data-Driven Model to Maximize Your Service Portal.

With ServiceNow’s Service Portal, you can deliver your apps through a modern, easy-to-use portal that can be accessed from any device, any time. Plus, your users can easily access any knowledge base with one intuitive search and call to actions. But, your Portal tools are only as valuable as the number of employees and customers who use them.

UX Strategy eBook DownloadTo gain adoption, the Portal needs to be modern and compelling in design, reflecting the company’s branding while using images that resonate with its associates. It needs to be technically sound, with rigorous user testing to overcome any failures in the functionality. This is where User Experience (UX) Design comes in.

When planning for your Service Portal, you need to understand the profound connotation of UX Design – UX Design is not just making things pretty. In fact, despite the common notions of UX and Design, UX Design is actually just a method to provide a solution to your user’s problems. The best UX can show the user empathy by prioritizing their needs.

Sometimes it’s easier to explain that concept by ruling out what UX is not. Creating a UX Design for your portal is not just making things pretty. You can have the most visually appealing website around, but if no one understands how to use it, then not only is it a bad experience for your users, but it’s also an unproductive one. (Designers call this form over function).

That sounds simple, but good user design is a practice of marrying rigorous user-testing, complete functionality, and compelling User Interface (UI) design to fulfill a set of business-oriented goals.

The idea of rigorous data backing up your Service Portal investment and future maintenance is exactly the focus of the eBook. It’s chapters include; 4 Steps to Maximize UX ROI (excerpt below), KPI’s You Need to be Tracking, and UX Inspiration and Resources.

4 Steps to Maximize UX ROI

1. Engage the Right Stakeholders, Early

If the intent of your Service Portal is to be enterprise-wide, rather than just IT or HR based, declare that intention early. When considering the stakeholders for the project, seek out a representative from any service provider in the enterprise, as they will be able to help you gain adoption and support for the larger initiatives.

2. Create your Service Portal User Personas

Once you have your executive support and key stakeholders assembled, you have to make sure you know what you are building. Before you begin writing, designing and developing, set yourself up for success by taking the time to scrutinize your end user personas. You should be able to clearly identify their goals, tasks, and needs.

Prior Knowledge. What does our end user know about the portal? What is their current attitude toward it?

Context. In what kind of circumstances, scenarios, environments do our end-user use the portal? This step might involve a lot of surveys or polls and other documentation by people across the company.

Problems. What kinds of problems currently exist for the user in CMS? What do they need? Similar to context, do a little research to make sure you are getting to the heart of the problems they are facing

Motivation. Why do they want to use it? What types of benefits will it have for them? This will help you in your end training and internal marketing of the portal. It’s important to note that it is very likely that you will have several end users, so you should complete multiple persona outlines in order to highlight what the common uses, problems, and motivations are.

3. Develop Rapidly with Wireframing

A wireframe is a visual representation of your user interface, at its most basic level. It does not include any heavy visual design or brand elements but instead focuses on the hierarchy of items that will appear on a screen. It communicates what the items on any given page should be based on your user needs, i.e. your user personas. Essentially, it’s a black and white diagram with various UI elements and notes in it that is devoid of imagery, branding, and color.

Having wireframes is important for a variety of reasons;

• Exploring ideas without the difficulty of change that you often see in photoshop based mockups;

• Communicating the functionality with which you are going to build with stakeholders without muddying the waters by using visual design elements or brandings;

• Giving designers a basis to create screens from;

• Using as a basis for prototyping and user testing, from the very beginning.

For each page that you are developing you should be doing your best to think about what type of content is going to be on the page. Beyond the standard Lorem Ipsum, you should be notating what type of language is going to be used for calls to action, where those buttons will be in relation to supporting content on the page, where search boxes or navigation go and more. Wireframes are a great way to understand not only what the content is that needs to be included, but also the relationship between the content.

Learn the Last Step and More

Unlock the potential ROI in your UX and Service Portal initiatives with four steps, plus learn what KPI’s to be tracking and be inspired by a host of Portal resources and examples.

UX Strategy eBook