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How Do We Provide A Poor User Experience?

How Do We Provide A Poor User Experience?

“Instead of focussing on Success, we need to avoid stupidity”.

Innovation in user experience often focuses on achieving success; however, an equally valuable approach is learning how to avoid failure. James Clear brought the Mental Model of Inversion to my intention in a recent 3-2-1 Atomic Habits newsletter, and it led me to read a book about Mental Models.

By asking “How do we fail at this” allows us to focus on avoiding failure as opposed to plotting the journey to reach for a particular goal.  This is the Mental Model of Inversion. We can use Inversion in any aspect of life – business, art, career development, personal relationships.

So why don’t we have a go at applying it to End-user experience?

Hardware – Hardware is expensive, and therefore restricts budgets.  So end-users will typically be trying to run a modern OS on less-than-ideal hardware.  It’ll be stretched, the user will think it is “slow” which will impact productivity and user acceptance.

Operating System – The Operating System needs to be large and complicated.  It needs to contain a myriad of notifications and it needs to be complex to navigate.

Local Agents – We’ll make sure we have local agents for VPN, Anti-Virus, n Security Tool that will be managed centrally through YAMS (Yet Another Management Solution), that itself require specialist staff to design, manage and maintain.

Local Applications – We should have the ability for end-users to install their own applications, regardless of where they have come from to be installed on the OS.  We shall include a larger number of applications and code in the OS for apps that the users will probably never use.  We’ll make sure these all need patching on a regular basis.  We’ll deliver some applications from an application management solution(s) centrally.  We’ll make sure this process is particularly cumbersome and offer many different options and third-party vendors to help out.

Virtual Applications/DaaS/SaaS – Despite deploying expensive hardware for our large complicated Operating System, what we’ll do is virtualise our large complex OS and deliver apps from a data center or adopt SaaS applications – and use our large complex OS to access them.

Management Tools – For each of these, we’ll ensure that there is an underpinning management solution that needs designing, implementing and its policies maintaining.  This will further degrade the user experience in favour of security.

The mental model of inversion posits that in order to achieve success, we should avoid failure, so if we apply this to our question of “How do we provide a poor user experience?” then we need to avoid making these mistakes.  I am obviously taking a rather tongue-in-cheek approach with all this – however, the fact does remain, that we’ve tended to always do what we’ve done.  When we virtualised our applications or implemented a DaaS solution, or adopted a SaaS approach – we still deployed the same large operating system on the same expensive hardware for end-users to access their apps.

At IGEL, we believe there is a different way.  When we’re modernising application delivery – whether through SaaS or virtualisation technologies, what we do on the end-point matters.  It’s the entry to our end-user’s daily life at work.  It’s the barrier between getting work done, and then getting home to the family.

The experience of work needs to be above all consistent, reliable, and secure.  IGEL provide this through what we call our Preventative Security Model.

A small-factor OS, typically 2Gb in size is simple to deploy and manage from a single management console.

As a secure by design operating system, the requirement for n Agents is not there – IGEL Secure OS has never been a victim of a cyber-attack.  IGEL OS is read only and there is a chain of trust right from when the device is turned on.

The applications that that user has access to are relevant to them and accessed through a familiar desktop experience – there’s no clutter or unwanted distractions.

Access to virtual applications and desktops is simple.  IT can even configure “Boot to X” if the use-case suits.  Access to SaaS applications can be done directly from the endpoint, no need to use complex virtualisation resources in deploying Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.  Users can even collaborate using Teams and Zoom in a simple, secure and reliable way.

To put it simply, the user experience is straightforward and does what I believe users want – to get their jobs done.

John Moody-Waters

Director Presales Engineering at IGEL
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