Last time, in part 1 of this article, we took a look at user experience and the different steps of information management. This time, we will look into how user experience influences the product development process at the LG CNS UX Lab.
- Creating Smart Service Through User Experience (UX) (Part 1):
Looking at UX Approach with Examples from LG CNS
UX approach is a 4-step process that consists of Understanding, Insight, Ideation and Evaluation. Let’s take a look at this process in detail.
The first step in UX methodology is Understanding of the customer and the industry. This type of understanding cannot be acquired through books, but is learned from a process of making products or providing services in various environments and performing analysis to gain a better understanding. This process took place during the construction of Kookmin Bank’s Smart Branch facility. The process started with working to understand how the elderly and others that would be the least familiar with a ‘smart environment’ by analyzing the actions of those users in smart branch-banking environment.
The Insight step in the process involves using the understanding acquired in the 1st step and getting a more detailed look at the situation. Reenactments of service situations are carried out in order to gain an accurate understanding of the service environment. This type of process was carried out during the Smart Branch project to improve service from the consumer’s point of view. Researchers discovered that terms such as ‘credit’ and ‘receipt’ that are used in a financial setting are unfamiliar to some people.
The Insight step of the process is not only applicable in service related environments but can also be instrumental in improving aesthetic factors of a product as well. In the case of the Smart Branch project, Insight was also used in rapid prototyping for product frame sizes, shapes and terminal heights. This step makes it possible construct a system with the customer’s needs in mind.
Ideation is the step in the process where product concepts are developed along with the customer. In the past, it was more important to develop the technology in a product before the product design was complete. However, the UX approach takes the user into account first. This approach allows the user to have direct involvement (Co-design) in the development of product concepts to match a product to user needs. Because of this ability to match a product with users needs and develop a more stable product, co-design has become a trend in the industry.
The final step in the process is Evaluation. The most important part of the evaluation process is optimizing the service experience. So, solid analysis is done of the entire customer service process along with testing of the product. In the Smart Branch development process, optimum service was provided through in-depth analysis was done on the entire system that even included elements such as the lighting on location.
The method of designing entire processes and systems for infrastructure, action and space that reflects user experience is called ‘Service Design.’ Service design, digital experience design, product design, space design, brand design as well as other types of design are carried out at the LG CNS UX Lab.
LG CNS Electric Car Charging Station Developed Through User Experience
A good example of a real life case where the LG CNS UX Lab was effective in the development of a product is the LG CNS electric car charging station. There was no electric car charging stations in Korea before this product was developed. Many attempts were made to develop a product with integrated IT services that would reflect the user experience. The pictures below show how the process worked. A simulation was made to demonstrate the electric car charging process in order to provide the most convenient service. The current electric car charging station was developed through analysis of user experience.
An Expert Opinion on Original Design Through UX
I had the privilege of meeting with LG CNS UX Planning Team manager Nayoung Lee to discuss UX approach product design. Nayoung Lee told me that in order to create successful service and products, it is important to have the ability to sympathize with the user and have communication skills. More goes into a product designed to reflect the user experience than simply a designer’s philosophy. The 4 steps of the process listed about must be implemented to understand and communicate user action, psychology and emotions.
I learned while researching for this article that creativity is important in creating a new product. But, creativity is more than just a great idea. Nayoung Lee inspired me and peaked my interest in UX with her advice to keep an open mind, try various methods, and always strive to increase the satisfaction of the consumer. I realize that need to put effort into improving my ability to sympathize, pay close attention to detail and continue to improve my knowledge in my field to become a true expert.
LG CNS has organized a support program that enables university students interested in IT to write news articles related to the field. This article is one that was written under the program.