Three ways to maintain the user experience of your digital service

Blog | March 21, 2024

Maintaining your service’s user interface to keep it fresh and appealing is easier (and more affordable) than you might think.


In a recent blog post, our designer, Ville Yli-Knuutila, summarized the various forces and trends that inevitably lead even the best digital service user interfaces to become outdated.

In this post, Ville presents three straightforward methods to stay informed about the state of any service's user experience. While there are, of course, many other ways to assess and maintain user experience and user interfaces, the key is to regularly employ at least some of these strategies.

1. Analyze and develop analytic tools

Any organization offering a digital service should clearly understand what they want users to achieve with the service and which functions they want users to utilize the most. Surprisingly, many service providers lack insight into how users navigate their service and what factors lead them to exit.

A direct method to assess a service and its user interface's performance is to define specific goals and conversions, and then enhance analytics to understand why these goals and conversions are not being met, including at what point users are dropping off. Once these issues are identified, improvements can be implemented.

2. Conduct a simple user interface evaluation

In an evaluation, one or more experts review the user interface or key use cases, rating it numerically against specific criteria, such as Nielsen's heuristics. This lightweight evaluation gives the service provider a good overall understanding of potential areas for improvement in the service's user interface.

The evaluation may include criteria such as the user's understanding of their location in a particular process or an assessment of whether the service provides sufficient feedback to ensure they are performing the correct actions.

The result is an actionable evaluation report that highlights the most urgent and promising development tasks for maintaining a high-quality user experience.

3. Interview your users

The third approach is deceptively simple and highly effective but often overlooked: talking to your service's users. Or better yet, have an external party converse with your service's users because those responsible for the service are often too close to it and may become defensive or blame the users for “not understanding the service.”

The interview process doesn't have to be extensive or arduous: a skilled user experience professional can glean a lot of information by interviewing, for example, five users for half an hour each. Subsequently, a report is compiled, offering a comprehensive view of potential areas for improvement and an overall picture of the service's performance. The findings are often revelatory.

Investigate and analyze your service’s user experience

The worst action you can take is to allow your service to deteriorate gradually, accumulating both technical and “experiential” debt. This can lead users to abandon your service if they have the option. If they don't, it results in an overall unsatisfactory experience. 'Do I really have to use this?'

If you are interested in measuring and maintaining user experience, and in improving your digital service in general, consider exploring our Kodan Skaala service or feel free to reach out to either Tomi or Marko. Often, you can get started with just 1-2 days of effort.

This text was written by Kodan’s senior service designer, Ville Yli-Knuutila.

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