Is ‘Journey-Driven Design’ the Next Workflow Evolution?

Workflow software

People use their phones for everything, including work.

The concept of “mobile first” in the context of user interfaces for work processes and customer-facing transactions has been at the forefront of automated workflow development for several years now.

And while mobile device use is as strong as ever, the typical user may switch between devices at multiple points during a process, particularly in a work environment. For example, an employee may initiate a workflow using the laptop in their cubicle, take care of another phase of the workflow using a tablet at a client site, and then complete the workflow using their phone in the back of a taxi on their way back to work. Automated workflows that account for the user’s process journey are most efficient and cause the least amount of hassle for users.

Journey-Driven Design

Journey-driven design is a workflow design approach that considers the user and when as well as how they interact with workflows. The idea is not to force workflow users to choose the device that the workflow designer had in mind, but to be able to use whichever device suits their needs at the moment. In other words, while “mobile first” is still a smart strategy, it shouldn’t be thought of as “mobile only,” because many workflow users transition among several environments at different points in a workflow. And workflows flow better when they’re unobstructed by the need for the user to grab the “correct” device to proceed.

Personas for Users of Automated Workflows Key

You can’t successfully use a journey-driven design for automated workflows unless you do the research up front to learn all about those who use the workflows. Just as marketing professionals create customer personas so as to target advertising tactics effectively, workflow designers should create workflow user personas.

It may require some shadowing and ride-alongs with workflow users, but the end result will be workflows that proceed flawlessly, regardless of where in the process the user is because the workflow “knows” which device is most likely to be used at each phase of the workflow and can adapt accordingly.

Workflow software

Learning which devices are most likely to be used at each phase of a workflow makes design more powerful.

The Right Interface for the Device of Choice

The right interface for the workflow user’s device of choice is what makes journey-driven design a worthy goal for automated workflows. Flexibility must still be maintained, however. If, say, a person normally completes one segment of a workflow on a laptop, but for whatever reason must complete that segment using a tablet, it should be easy for that user to notify the workflow of the change, so the right version of the online form or other user interface is presented. Sure, it requires more work up front in the design of the workflow, but the results include greater efficiency and happier workflow end-users.

Does Your Workflow Software Empower Journey-Driven Design?

It takes powerful, flexible workflow software to empower journey-driven design, and not all workflow software providers give you this. PerfectForms, however, is workflow software that has long offered mobile-friendliness as well as the convenience of a user-friendly drag-drop design interface, so online forms and automated workflows can be created with ease, and without programming.

With PerfectForms, the workflow users can have greater say in how workflows are designed, so they work in the real world, with actual users rather than in imagined scenarios with imaginary users. As a result, PerfectForms allows companies to pursue journey-driven design with automated workflows, maximizing efficiency and making the end-user’s job a little easier. Curious to learn more? We encourage you to watch the PerfectForms demo and see for yourself the power that the right online form and workflow software delivers.

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