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Lydia Iseh

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The Importance of Integrating DevOps With UX

You and your DevOps team have created a brilliant product you believe your users will love. You’ve deployed different processes to make sure it’s successful. But after all the hard work, you launch the product, and your users say, “It's not what we wanted!”

So, you repeat the entire cycle, over and over, wondering where you got it wrong. You do all these while investing your time and resources without getting desired results.

As frustrating as it can be, this is the reality of many DevOps teams. A DevOps team may have the support of the best software engineers and IT operators and still create products users don’t like if the DevOps team does not have an effective UX strategy.

Successful products are user-centric. So, to create them, you must understand your users’ needs and design a product that meets their expectations. And what better way to do this than with UX?

Integrating DevOps with UX helps DevOps teams create meaningful products that satisfy customers. It improves users’ experience, boosts conversions, and promotes retention.

This article will dive deeply into why it’s crucial to employ UX practices as a DevOps team.

Let’s begin.

UX and DevOps

What’s the relationship between UX and DevOps? DevOps is an alternative to the traditional product development approach that works in silos. In DevOps, the development and IT operations don’t work separately. Instead, they collaborate to build products for users across different stages, from research to deployment and testing.

This innovative approach effectively bridges the communication gap among different teams and guarantees a seamless workflow. It helps teams collaborate work faster, better, and more collaboratively. However, although improved communication and collaboration enhances the development process, experts must understand their users, know their pain points and identify their challenges to create a relevant product for them. And this is where UX comes in.

UX, or user experience, targets users’ perceptions and interactions with a product. It is concerned with who the users are, what they want, their challenges, and how to develop a product that meets their needs. UX focuses on improving the customer experience, from awareness to sales and usage. What user experience aims to do, in the end, is to make users happy and satisfied after using a product.

Integrating DevOps and UX is a powerful advantage. Software experts and UX designers can build a product that reflects users' needs and desires. First, there’s the UX expert providing insight into what consumers want and their challenges.

Next, there’s the engineering and software development team putting it all together with the users' needs and expectations in mind. The result of this collaboration is apparent— a user-centric product that resonates with users and drives desired results for the company.

Why Is It Vital to Integrate DevOps With UX

DevOps and UX integration offers many benefits to teams. Ultimately, teams develop a product that generates positive responses from users. So, how does UX influence this outcome? Let’s take a look.

  1. UX Research

UX research is an essential aspect of UX. It researches, observes, and monitors users to know what they want from a product. This involves identifying the target market, needs, and motivations to design a product.

User research is critical to developing a product. And with the help of UX design experts and practices, the DevOps team will gain in-depth insight into consumers’ needs, wants, and expectations. They will also receive accurate feedback on users' challenges to eliminate bugs and build easy-to-use products.

From developing a product that suits the team’s assumptions of what an excellent product should look like, the DevOps team will begin to ask critical, user-centric questions like “who are we building for?” “What do they want” and “ how can we solve their problems?”

Integrating UX with DevOps will help the team employ different UX research practices like tree testing, card sorting, and surveys to know what users truly want and how they can design products that satisfy them. To know more about how UX uses user research to develop excellent products, learn more about the benefits of UX research in this helpful resource.

  1. Simplified User Onboarding

Research says 63% of customers think onboarding is essential to subscribe to a product. Also, 74% of users will switch to other products if a solution has a complicated onboarding process.

These statistics reveal how a simple onboarding experience is crucial for consumers. Customers want a quick and seamless process when using a website, application, or product.

This is why they want a product with a simple learning curve. If the get-started phase is complicated, they will leave your product for a more accessible alternative. UX helps the DevOps team to create an onboarding process for users. Through UX research practices, they’ll know what they must do to simplify the get-started experience for users.

For example, you may realize that users don’t complete their actions on your website because they experience decision paralysis based on the multiple choices you give them. Since they are spoiled with options, it is challenging to decide on the next step. As a result, they get confused and stop the entire process altogether.

You may also discover that your low retention rate is because your users are overwhelmed with information when they visit your site or use your product. No matter what their challenges are, adopting UX techniques will help you identify and fix them.

Simplifying user experience for mobile or desktop will ultimately boost customer satisfaction, increasing subscriptions and retention. So, the way to improve usability for your product’s onboarding process is to understand what a simple get-started experience means for customers. UX methods help you gain insights into your users’ perspective to know how they feel and what they experience and expect from your onboarding experience. Afterward, you can use this knowledge to enhance your onboarding process.

  1. User Behaviors

Integrating DevOps with UX allows developers not to think about themselves but put the customers at their center of focus. This means rather than design a product based on their perspectives, DevOps understand user behaviors to create valuable experiences for them. As a result, they know who their users are and how they interact with their products.

As a DevOps team integrated with UX, you will adopt a user-based research method like user interviews to understand your customers' behaviors better. You can structure the interview questions and get valuable insights into how your users behave.

As a qualitative data collection method, user interviews explore users’ perspectives, interactions, feelings, and opinions about their experiences. You also obtain valuable feedback on what they do when using your product. For example, you’ll know why people don’t fill out the contact page, upgrade their plans or use some features on the app. This information will help you improve your app to accommodate users’ preferences.

It will also help you answer relevant questions. For example, what do users do immediately when they land on your website? How many of your website visitors prefer to use mobile? Or who uses the line chat rather than phone calls? UX techniques like user testing and user interviews will allow you to observe customers' habits to know the areas to improve when building and developing your website.

  1. Iteration

Product development is an ongoing process. So, it’s essential to test your product continuously to review user satisfaction and opinions about your product. Integrating UX with DevOps allows your team to introduce different UX processes in the iterative process. You can adopt user research practices and user testing to discover people’s perceptions of your product and consumers’ evolving needs. Then, you can note the changes and implement them during the iterative process.

Remember, the iteration isn’t limited to after you’ve launched a product. Instead, you can conduct iteration throughout the product development cycle. The idea is to keep testing to identify bugs, errors, and other shortcomings to develop an excellent product that meets consumers' ever-changing needs.

Primarily, UX ensures the DevOps team doesn’t focus on the technical aspect of the iteration process alone but considers users’ needs and iterates from their perspectives. In addition, it enables you to conduct extensive user research to understand users’ current needs and if your product is meeting them. This further helps you to sustain a user-focused product, keeping your product relevant to users and boosting retention.

  1. Engagement

Like iteration, engagement helps you stay on top of your users’ needs. Engaging with users regularly through user interviews and tests keeps you updated about your product’s performance and users' impressions of your product.

Rather than measure how the product is doing through data alone, UX lets you interact with real users and receive feedback. With UX, you can meet consumers directly to ask questions. You can also organize polls and adopt tools to gather users' opinions and monitor their activities with your product.

UX enables real, direct engagement from users. Through open discussions, surveys, polls, and other research methods, you will understand users' pain points, what they want, and how you can develop a product that addresses their needs.

Combine DevOps With UX

UX is crucial for DevOps to build and improve relevant products. It’s also essential to understanding users and engaging with them. Now more than ever, consumers are seeking personalized experiences from brands.

An effective UX research strategy will help the DevOps team to develop a product that mirrors users’ expectations, enabling personalization and enhancing product adoption and retention. So, if you want to improve your product experience to increase subscriptions and keep your users, integrate DevOps with UX to see desired results.

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