*This post originally appeared on the AppSense blog prior to the rebrand in January 2017, when AppSense, LANDESK, Shavlik, Wavelink, and HEAT Software merged under the new name Ivanti.

We hear a lot about user experience these days in IT.  People say “It’s all about the user...”, or “The user experience is the most important thing." But how do we really understand the user experience and make strides towards improving it?

Here’s my view based on years of experience helping clients help their users.

  1. Monitor

Sounds simple – we need to monitor, and if possible measure the user experience. Let’s take logon times as an example – this is the receptionist to your IT services, if you like. A poor logon time is like visiting a company where the receptionist is rude or unhelpful; the rest of the company might be great, but there’s always that bad experience you had as your first experience. Poor logon times are the same; no matter how good the rest of the IT services are, if the user has to endure a slow logon every day, it’s going to put a damper on the rest of their experience. There’s also a tangible dollar cost in productivity – so any solution will have a direct ROI.

Being able to monitor logon times in a quick and simple way – then identify ways of improving them – is a great first step towards improving the User Experience.

  1. Improve

Once we’ve monitored and gained some insight into what’s happening, it’s time to take some simple steps towards improving things. For example: If we see logon times are long and we can see this is due to the number or style of group policies being applied then maybe we can look at either rationalizing policies, or deploying them a different way so they don’t hold up the logon process.

The key point here is that you can’t improve until you can quickly and simply identify areas for improvement, and that comes down to achieving step 1 – Monitor.

  1. Review

Step 3 is the most important to your user experience strategy in my opinion. With any new policy or change to the user’s IT environment we need to review where we are before we start and where we are at after we make the change. This review will not only allow us to see the value of the changes we make but also to help plan our next steps. It also lets us be proactive if something we do has a negative effect – we can catch any issues quickly and find a solution.

Before and after snapshots of the user experience can make it quick and simple to review progress, which verifies our investment of time and effort in the changes we make. So review is critical when we are doing step 2 – improving.

So that’s a simple view of what we all know we need to do, but the big question is: can you do all three today?

Here at AppSense, we’re working with a rapidly growing number of clients to achieve exactly what you see in this article – a better way to monitor, improve, and review the user experience. Our new product Insight does just that.  It's simple to deploy and simple to collect metrics around user experience.

My name’s Shane Wescott. I’m from AppSense, and I’m here to help.