Q&A with Kyle Romain, UX Designer at SevOne
Across countless industries, demand for User Experience (UX) designers is higher than ever.
On any given day, these individuals are taking complex, often disjointed interface concepts and designs and are turning them into effective, efficient and intuitive experiences for their users.
Here at SevOne, leaders understand that UX designers are a crucial part of the team. That’s why we’re ramping up the department by hiring additional UX designers, sending them directly to customers to see what can be designed more efficiently, and deploying validation testing to review our improved interfaces with the customers who will actually use them.
We sat down with Kyle Romain, 27, one of the first UX designers hired at SevOne. Prior to working at SevOne, Romain spent four years working on SAP’s internal UX design team, contributing to internal web apps and portals.
SevOne: What do you do as a UX designer at SevOne?
Kyle Romain: We’re working directly on the product, analyzing existing interfaces and seeing how we can make it a more intuitive user experience. We’re also working on new workflows that we design from scratch. For example, our users need to build application keys. Before, they were only Windows-based, hard to access and hard to use. I worked with other product managers to create a brand new web-based tool that was more accessible. I also work with flow reporting and flow configuration. We’re consolidating that so users can accomplish tasks in a more efficient way.
S1: What does UX mean to you?
KR: I think it’s something companies are becoming more aware of, something that was typically in the background or non-existent. A lot of times, these tools were developed without giving thought to the user. In order for the product to be successful, the users need to be able to adapt to it quickly. It needs to be an immersive and intuitive experience so it helps them do their job better.
S1: What’s the impact of bad user design in tools used by network and IT teams?
KR: The most dramatic impact is far worse than just frustrated users. If they can’t have a consistent workflow, they’re going to give up. At the very least, poor user design means it takes longer to identify, troubleshoot, and repair known performance issues. For the companies we serve, any prolonged application or service disruption has a significant impact on revenue.
S1: What are some common mistakes you see in UX that impede use of the software?
KR: We’re dealing with data-intensive interfaces, so we have to keep scalability in mind. There’s a ton of data that people need to consume quickly. Putting it all out there can be overwhelming, so we aim to make it easily navigable. If the user doesn’t know where they are at all times, they spend more time searching for what they need, instead of accomplishing the task at hand. Navigation and naming conventions should be relatively easy to create, but they’re often overlooked because they’re so simple.
S1: What’s an example of something that has improved because of your UX design?
KR: We’ve done a lot of work surrounding reporting, which now could be accessed by both the network engineer and the executive. The challenge is coming up with an interface that satisfies both. The network engineer might want a super specific report and the executive, who might not want to interact with it much, also wants the report. We need to be intuitive for the executive role, but still provide that richness and depth for the advanced network engineer role.
S1: How does SevOne plan to enhance the user interface and design of its infrastructure monitoring platform?
KR: We started doing interviews and usability sessions with customers. It’s really important for us to get information from users and it’s good to show our customers that we have a UX team listening to their needs. We’re also conducting validation user testing. So once we come up with a solution, we put that in front of customers. It lets us know – either let’s keep moving with it or we’ve got more work to do. We definitely rely on user input and continue to look to see where we can improve.