“Improving user experience” on mobile platforms may sound like a no-brainer, but thinking across platforms and operating systems is harder than it sounds.
Logging onto a website on a mobile phone may not seem like a big deal – until it loads up. Suddenly, it does not look quite the same as it did on the desktop at home. The type is small, it’s difficult to fill in text boxes and nearly impossible to find what prompted the search in the first place. The user experience is just not there. During the day-to-day hustle and bustle in a company, these types of issues are often overlooked, as no single employee has “improve user experience” in their job description. User experience agency, Useagility, fills this gap.
Chrys Sullivan, after working as a user expert at a local tax preparation company, founded Useagility in 2008. The discipline of user experience came to be something that Sullivan understood thoroughly after working on the creation of software that allowed customers to do their taxes at home. Such a confusing topic begs for a user experience expert to eliminate any confusion present in the software.
“The need for this skillset in Kansas City was there at the time. Tech start-ups were just taking off, so it seemed like the time was right to start this business,” Sullivan says.
Still, today, only a handful of companies provide services focused solely on user experience. Regionally, Useagility is a big name in this fairly new field.
At the start of their process, Useagility works with a corporation’s technical and business departments to develop user experience on the company’s website and applications, which makes them more intuitive. This involves a two-pronged approach of research and design. Research involves testing and evaluations to grasp a company’s needs.
The design part of the process improves the interaction customers have with a digital interface, helping them more effectively find answers and allows the company to promote its products. This process helps companies gauge how well a product functions before they spend a lot of money on it.
“We are a business-minded company, so we take the time to understand a corporation’s business goals, objectives and business models,” Sullivan says. “At the same time, we serve as the voice of the user.”
User-centered design is the methodology behind Useagility, which puts the needs, wants and limitations of the product user at the forefront throughout the design process. The customer, or company, may seem lost in this process, but it ultimately helps the business achieve its goals.
Useagility, while providing support to the goals of other companies, has several goals of its own. “We really want to continue doing great work for our current clients,” Sullivan says. “Building upon this, we’ll continue to grow the business locally and regionally.”
In a budding industry, an agency like Useagility could easily become distracted by other opportunities from the work at which they excel.
Moving forward, according to Sullivan, Useagility plans to be a solid source in the user experience field, focusing squarely on helping clients create technology that is usable and provides the best experience possible.