The customer is definitely king. In this age of interactivity and engagement, businesses must work hard to ensure the demands of their clients’ – both internal and external – are met.
More providers and blue-chip businesses are therefore paying more attention to the user experience platform (UXP), a method for providing an open and intuitive access to information that puts the client first. Such a focus is more than overdue.
Analysts and the media have been expecting developments related to the UXP for a number of years. Back in 2005, an article in CIO magazine (see further reading, below) referred to the “Google Effect” – where web-based employees demand simple, satisfying and intuitive access to information.
Researcher IDC was already coining the phrase “user experience platform”, a fast-emerging area of development that aimed to improve the lives of information workers through the integration of existing intranets and transactional applications.
Back in 2010 and the reality hasn’t been quite as fast-emerging as might have been expected. Try a web search for “user experience platforms” and you’ll quickly see that the area is not that clearly defined.
While other buzz phrases – such as cloud computing and Web 2.0 – have an equally contested nature, they do at least garner a strong element of provider, media and end-user interest. Expect the pendulum to swing towards UXP in 2010.
Smart phones – the basic building blocks for the mobile UXP – currently account for 14% of overall mobile device sales, but Gartner expects they will make up around 37% of global handset sales by 2012.
Such growth means more providers will aim to enter the market to provide intuitive devices. For new entrants, Gartner suggests brand and user experience will be significant differentiators for mobile handsets.
Technology specialists are already beginning to take note and some are prioritising the phrase “user experience platform” in their information. Take Sony Ericsson, who recently announced that their forthcoming Xperia X10 handset has a new UXP that will provide an “open, human and intuitive experience”.
The Sony handset – like many others – is based on the Linux-based Google Android operating system. The platform promotes the open development of user-centred applications and Android will account for 14.5% of the worldwide smartphone market by year-end 2012.
The pendulum is already swinging towards open, intuitive access to mobile applications. Take steps to satisfy your users demands now and prioritise the UXP.