Through the rapid evolution of technology, cloud development plays a prevalent role in business operations and the daily lives of consumers. For a business, cloud computing means improving scalability at a lower cost and with less infrastructure. For consumers, it’s as simple and complex as having the world in their pocket via a smartphone.
User Experience (UX) plays an integral role in cloud development. It’s not enough to have access to a tool, you need to be able to use it effectively. Here are some compelling reasons why UX has a role in cloud development.
One of the main benefits of cloud technology is that you can jump from device to device. The days of experiencing a website on a desktop and being unable to view it from mobile are in the past. Now, you can close a document on your laptop and open it immediately on your phone to keep working.
How does this play into UX?
As cross-channel accessibility becomes more prevalent, UX designers have to think about the ways perceptions will shift when a user jumps from their smartphone to their Chromebook to their iPad. While the data may remain the same across the various channels, the visuals and formatting will not. UX designers are challenged with creating a consistent experience while maintaining flexibility because of the cloud.
Auto Back-Up Features
While data loss is frustrating for individuals, it can be devastating for businesses. According to a study conducted by the University of Texas, 94% of companies that experience a significant data loss never recover.
Imagine that same feeling you got when the power flickered before you saved the word document that had your major project written out. Cloud computing has made auto-backups easy and accessible. A prime example of this process in action is applications within the G Suite, which saves every character you type as long as you have an internet connection.
UX designers have to think about how this will work in terms of accessibility. For developers, considering integrations that allow for the review of previous work changes, various user log-ins, and timestamps (as seen in LAAS – logging as a service by Papertrail) is essential.
Attracting and Retaining Users
UX is all about having someone say, “this is a great app.” The graphics, purpose, and marketing efforts generate the initial interest in an application; it’s the user experience that keeps them coming back for more.
Cloud computing, by default, can impact the overall UX. For example, cloud storage can drastically improve server speeds. As a result, loading times drop. As the average timeframe for optimal user experience is under three seconds for loading, the increased load times reduce an application’s bounce rate.
In a business setting, cloud computing can improve the overall UX by making categorization and searches quicker and more streamlined. While this isn’t a direct impact on the UX design, this is one of the areas where UX and cloud development overlap.
One of the biggest barriers to use with an app is the learning curve. Many businesses are shifting to cloud-based applications for the reasons listed above. To ease the transition and help them choose one program over another, having a streamlined user experience during the onboarding process is vital.
Streamlined onboarding through a well-planned UX design will ultimately increase customer retention and satisfaction. The easier it is for users to become comfortable with the new application, the more successful the app will become.
The onboarding and user experience will, in turn, lend a hand to increased productivity and efficiency within the business. As one of the primary metrics of success with cloud computing is streamlined services, the importance of a robust UX design cannot be understated.
How to Optimize UX in Cloud Development
There are some key considerations to keep in mind when optimizing UX for cloud development, including:
- Conducting in-depth market research – having a better understanding of the user’s goals, pain points, and values will go a long way in creating an optimized UX.
- Simplifying the flow – taking a critical look at the user flow within the application and trimming the fat for a more streamlined UX will enhance the value of the application. The main goal should be making it as easy as possible to navigate from Point A to Point B.
- Creative collaboration with an experienced team – working together to mind map the design will help identify and explore all UX options before the design is finalized. Having a diverse team to attack the idea from all angles will ensure all avenues are explored.
- Prioritize data security – consumer awareness surrounding data protection and cybersecurity is at an all-time high. Beyond the nuances of the UX design, having a deeper, more pressing prioritization of security is necessary.
As the world shifts to the cloud, UX designers will have to re-evaluate how they approach their jobs. Ensuring that an application meets the various checkpoints of cloud development UX will result in continued adaptability and success.
Steven is the IT consultant with altitudebranding.com, who helps digital businesses reach their full online potential. Steven is passionate about programming and IT consulting. His current focus is helping SaaS businesses create a better world for our kids. He frequently writes about the latest advancements in the digital and tech industry.
**The views & opinions expressed in this guest post are of the guest author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of the Design Roast community as a whole.**