How Fresh, First-Hand Research Leads to Interfaces That Make Users Feel Understood
In 1890, my great-great-grandfather fled Czarist Ukraine for a new home in London. Amongst the few possessions that he brought with him was a book that had been given to him in 1860 by his grandfather.
I was fortunate to have inherited this book – it has a lovingly-worn leather cover, smooth and sturdy, with an inscription that I can’t make out. The pages feel alive, with crisply-printed lettering that you can feel. It has the mark of the official government censor – can you imagine all printed material needing such a thing these days? I could describe this book to you for hours and you would begin to form an idea of what the book looks like. You might even get close to imagining the reality of the book.
But no amount of describing the book could replace the physical experience of holding it and feeling it respond as you turn the pages. It’s like trying to describe the taste of a banana, versus tasting one.
I take the same approach when designing user interfaces that are used across ACI’s solutions. The classic channel for incorporating user feedback in product design usually goes like this: A user tells their manager about their experience, the manager tells a vendor salesperson, the salesperson tells the product manager, and finally the product manager tells the user experience designer. Like the “broken telephone” game, the meaning gets lost, and often the wrong problem gets solved. It’s a big challenge for a designer to be successful in this paradigm.
For many years, I’ve relied on direct user feedback to discover pain points and workarounds, and validate requirements. Observing humans as they attempt to use my design prototypes has resulted in some of the greatest design value that I’ve added to our products – greater efficiency and better user satisfaction, both of which lead to higher productivity. One prime example comes from sessions conducted last year – a user request to make it easier to copy field values to the clipboard resulted in a significant restructuring of a UI. The resulting task flow improvement caused a beta-tester to laugh with delight.
The user interface of ACI’s merchant fraud solution, ReD Shield has been steadily improving over the past several years through the collaborative efforts of ACI team members together with key customers. Through the structured interactions of this ‘Design Partner Program,’ ACI user experience designers regularly visit design partner sites to watch fraud analysts work, and host virtual sessions to validate the design improvements that result.
The success of this approach means that our Design Partner Program concept will be incorporated into the design cycles of other ACI solutions in 2019. If you’re a current customer, check in with your ACI contact to get more information. Perhaps I’ll even bring my eye for UI to your location!
Find out more about ACI’s multi-tiered UP Payments Risk Management solution, which includes a unique combination of patented predictive models, flexible rules engine, automated alerts and processes, business intelligence portal and unrivaled global fraud intelligence – all supported by a team of expert risk analysts.
Related Blog Posts
The EMV Deadline Has Been Extended for U.S. Fuel Merchants – Now What?
U.S. fuel stations were originally supposed to be EMV-compliant by October 2017, but due to complications and costs at the time, the deadline for EMV at the pump was extended for three years – and it has now been pushed out further to April 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Billing and Payments in 2020: Ten Best Practices to Drive Digital Adoption and Engagement, Help Customers and Reduce Your Costs
In today’s changing times, both consumers and billers are experiencing more stress in managing bills and payments. Consumers may need to make payment arrangements or adjust how they pay their bills if they no longer can pay in person. Meanwhile, billers are scrambling to adjust to taking calls and receiving payments remotely and securely. ACI Worldwide has focused on meeting changing billing and payment needs since 1975, and we’ve compiled a list of best practices to help billers help their customers manage their bills and payments.
Merchant Fraud in the Age of COVID-19: We Need to Prepare Ourselves for a “Tidal Wave” of Attacks
With millions of consumers around the world self-quarantining at home, online shopping for goods, services and entertainment has become the new normal for many. A recent analysis of our own data has shown that average transaction volumes in the retail sector in March rose 74 percent compared to the same period last year.
When It Comes to Payments, COVID-19 Crisis Could Lead to Long-Term Shifts in Consumer Behavior [Q&A]
ACI Worldwide and GlobalData recently launched Prime Time for Real-Time, a new global report tracking and analyzing real-time payments volumes, growth and dynamics across 30 global markets. According to the global research, an industry first, more than half a trillion real-time payments transactions will be processed over the next five years. I discussed what the findings mean, and how the COVID-19 pandemic might be a further catalyst for behavioral change, with ACI’s global head of real-time payments, Craig Ramsey.
Global Fraud Landscape Evolving Quicker Than Ever – What Banks Need to Know
In the fraud prevention and cybercrime world, we often talk about fraudsters as the ultimate opportunists – looking for any weakness in a system that can be exploited. In recent years, as technological systems have advanced, fraudsters have increasingly turned to ”social engineering” to achieve their goals. Basically, hacking the person rather than hacking the system, as humans become the weakest link in the chain.
Higher Education Payments: Creating a Better Billing Experience for Students, Families and the Institution
For students and their families alike, paying for college may be one of the most stressful situations they can face. According to The Princeton Review’s 2020 College Hopes & Worries Survey Report, more than half of parents expect their child’s college degree—four years of tuition, room & board, fees, books and other expenses—to cost $100,000. Such a large and important cost deserves a corresponding payment system that matches up.
Rise of the Subscription Billing Economy: Trends, Challenges and Solutions
Ownership is a thing of the past. In fact, today’s consumers are less concerned with physical possessions and more interested in experiences. More than half of adults wish they could own less stuff and 70 percent say that subscribing to products and services releases people from the burden of ownership (e.g., maintenance, clutter, declining value).
Gen Z Has Arrived. Is Your Business Ready for the Next Generation’s Billing and Payment Preferences?
Move over Millennials, Gen Z has arrived. They’re entering the workforce… and they too have bills to pay.
The largest of any generation, Gen Z is the first to grow up entirely surrounded by the technology that defines today’s world, from smartphones and social media to ubiquitous high-speed internet. This digital exposure has given Gen Zers – the oldest of whom are 22 – distinct digital preferences and, not unlike Millennials, the need for instant gratification.
Women in Payments: Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020
International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, honors the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – including equality for all women.
To commemorate the occasion, we spoke with a few female leaders in the payments industry about what the day means both for them and for the wider payments industry. The comments and insights we received were nothing short of inspiring and encouraging.
A New Age of Billing and Payments: Mobile Wallets, AI Technology and Bill Sharing
Growing up in a digital world, Millennial and Gen Z consumers are always connected – and expect immediate access to information. ACI Speedpay Pulse, a consumer billing and payments trends and behaviors survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults (responsible for two or more household payments a month), found that 99.3 percent of young consumers (defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34) own a smartphone.