Episode 11

User Experience (UX) and Design-Driven Digital Transformation

This month we talk with ObjectSharp UX Practice Lead Al Sajoo about user experience and design-driven digital transformation. We talk with Al about the core principles of UX, where it fits into the Agile software development lifecycle, how good UX unlocks value and opportunities for businesses they may not have previously considered, and some of the tools and processes software and product teams should be considering today to improve their UX and design-led transformation.

Listen to the Episode

Show Notes
  • 0:15 – Intro to the show
  • 1:00 – Nick and Jeff welcome ObjectSharp UX Practice Lead Al Sajoo to the show
  • 1:40 – Jeff provides a background on ObjectSharp and how UX fits into ObjectSharp’s end-to-end digital transformation services
  • 3:30 – Al Sajoo introduces himself. He talks about his background as a developer, his movement into design, and his passion for helping humans succeed with software
  • 05:15 – Al and Nick dive a bit deeper on Al’s background as a developer and how his knowledge of engineering and the challenges engineers face helps inform his UX practice
  • 07:00 – Jeff and Al talk about UX generally and where it’s relevant throughout the software development lifecycle. Al talks about design discoveries: not about gathering requirements, but rather gathering expectations – understanding the expectations of the user. It’s not about designing and going away; there’s an “Agile” component to it. Good UX designs occur throughout the product / software development lifecycle, in sprints, keeping ahead of developers by 1-2 sprints. With design sprints, the biggest benefit of this design-first approach is that companies are less likely to burn engineering resources on features or products that end users don’t care about or don’t help them succeed.
  • 12:00 – Al talks about the problem solving element to UX: the solving of actual business problems, and the toolkit and processes he uses to solve those problems
  • 13:35 – Al talks about the importance of listening over opinions
  • 15:00 – Al talks about how newer tooling like Adobe XD assists with improving both his design and prototyping velocity as well as the velocity of the product / engineering teams he works with
  • 18:00 – Jeff talks about the business benefit of getting feedback from users up front on prototypes well before committing engineering resources to building things that may not add value
  • 19:00 – Al talks about how prototyping on his most recent project also helped surface challenges and opportunities that weren’t visible prior to prototyping
  • 21:00 – Al talks about design systems and the importance of not relying on just bootstrap and material: can provide a base framework, but not a silver bullet and need to be thinking about whether what’s in the framework actually solves the user’s problems
  • 22:30 – Al talks about the importance of accessibility in his work, and the importance of ensuring that applications and user interfaces are built for enabling everyone, particularly since the arrival of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in Ontario
  • 25:00 – Nick talks about the complexity for UI developers brought about by accessibility requirements, and how having a UX expert like Al on his team really helps address those issues ahead of time and ensures accessibility isn’t just an afterthought
  • 27:00 – Al discusses some of his recent projects and what’s exciting him lately, particularly redesigning complex internal enterprise business processes and mobile app design
  • 29:30 – Jeff asks Al about his top recommendations for people considering digital transformation or a new software / product project
  • 30:00 – Al talks about the importance of hiring actual UX designers to do UX, as a dedicated resource to work on design / experience issues
  • 34:00 – Al talks about the difference between “pixel perfect” designs vs “experience perfect” interactions, and how a good UX resource should be able to provide both
  • 37:00 – Al talks about the balancing act of designing products for multiple age demographics
  • 38:00 – If you’re looking for assistance with UX design, whether for a greenfield application or as part of an existing digital transformation, Nick tells you how to get in touch with ObjectSharp: online at https://objectsharp.com, on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/objectsharp-consulting/ and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ObjectSharp

Ready to start your next project?

Start with ObjectSharp today.

Contact Us