“For Notilus, the challenge is to make a previously laborious task enjoyable. We know that the management of expense reports is time-consuming and often cumbersome. We want to make it positive, playful even, so that managing expense reports will no longer be an ordeal,” says Adrien OLICHON.
UX and UI: what does it mean?
A quick aside on UX and UI
Historically, the term UX is attributed to Don Norman when he was working at Apple Computer in 1993. UX stands for User eXperience. In fact, in all civilizations, making things pleasant and playful has always been a concern. We could mention the ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, the Greek civilization and its workplaces based on ergonomic principles, or the beginnings of Taylor’s industrialization and the quest for work efficiency. Walt Disney is also often hailed as one of the first UX designers, always looking for feedback from his visitors and continuously improving his themed parks.
The term UI is an acronym for “User Interface“. UI is the design of a device, software, or application’s user interface. By definition, UI Design includes everything related to graphics, appearance, and layout.
In our industry, UX and UI are intrinsically linked. It is important to make an application practical and intuitive while combining aesthetics and modernity.
What is a successful user experience?
For Laurence, when a user uses an application and doesn’t need assistance to get what he wants, it’s a successful user experience, as everything is fluid and intuitive.
“A good user experience is when tasks are set to be as easy as possible for the user so that the way of doing it becomes natural“.
Why is product design so important today?
An evolution of customs and uses
Presently, it is undeniable that our daily lives are punctuated by the repeated use of digital applications.
“Humans want to waste as little time as possible and can’t stand frustration. They don’t want to be confronted with errors or dead ends. They want to use the shortest path and this is even more true in companies since most employees today are multitasking. Complexity must become simple, even for complex functionalities. It has to be obvious to the end-user!”
In addition, mobility and the use of smartphones have made people much more demanding. Indeed, their phones are often used in a private environment, which can encourage their desire to “do it fast”. A sharper critical sense has become much more common, even in our everyday life. It is, for example, a habit now to rate a purchased product or service.
With our OCR, all fields such as VAT, currency or amount are automatically detected. With the electronic archiving, your expense receipts are stored in a secure cloud, no more paper.
UX and UI design have become a standard and must be considered by companies
“Today, user experience no longer constitutes added-value, as it has become standard and part of our habits”, says Adrien.
When a company is aware of the importance of UX, it can integrate it from start to finish in its processes and as a result considerably save time.
Up until a few years ago, improving user experience was seen as optional. Today, it needs to be integrated at the very start of the project.
How does Notilus improve its users’ experience?
Good user experience is at the heart of our concerns and is expressed at different stages:
1.As a criterion to evaluate solution functionalities
There will be a research phase, commonly called user research. The idea is to work with end-users during workshop sessions and ask them to complete tasks on the application, and then track their performance as the application evolves. This way, we can detect there are blockages or frustrations for the users.
2. During the implementation of new features.
The UX designer will create sketches or mock-ups that users can complete. The resulting model will become interactive later on and tests will be done live.
3. During even more creative workshops, to get users’ input in the application design
The user will design their own interfaces under the guidance of a UX Researcher whose role will be to accompany the customers during workshops, to make them vote among themselves for the best interface, etc.
Today, we ask users what they want, why they want it, and how. While we always check if we’ve answered the “why”, it is the last part that we are concerned about here so that the solution visually corresponds to users’ needs.
“The UX at Notilus is always present and central throughout the entire process of building new functionalities. This ensures functionality coherence from start to finish and after development and quality controls have been completed, UX will remain the main criterion for assessment. Coherence implies better understanding from users, which increases chances of their adopting the solution once it is available.”
“To make it as clear as possible, we have set up design documentation to list all the graphical elements to be used in the expense reports management software design. This ensures certain design norms and standards are respected by all teams. It’s a kind of graphic charter that frames the entire product.”
UX is not intended to revolutionize everything
“For example, on Windows, the red cross at the top right of a window to close it has been present for over 30 years. If tomorrow an update changes this feature, users will be lost. In the UX business, you don’t necessarily want to revolutionize everything, users have their habits and you have to respect them”, Laurence concludes.
- Laurence AUCORDIER is the product manager for the mobile part of Notilus. Her role is to collect the different needs from users (evolutions, improvements), analyze and prioritize them, before making them appear in a roadmap – a simplified graphic representation – so that they can be integrated and delivered into the product. The idea is to go to the source to obtain a clear vision of our end users in order to consider the different evolutions from a functional point of view.
- Adrien OLICHON is a UX/UI designer. His daily job is to answer the problems of the product teams and design models and prototypes. He has to stay constantly on the lookout for new habits and trends. The main challenge of his work lies in combining ease of use with the graphic aspect of software designing.
Our solution is dedicated to the moblity management. In addition to the expense reports management you can plan, book and track your business trips. It is also possible to manage your car fleet.