Lately I’ve been working in a couple of projects involving big companies which has given me a lot of new experience and knowledge. One of the things I’ve realized is how important it is to have a good interaction design and how that is not always the case.
The common thing in these projects have been that the customer has already started a new IT project. As time comes to implement the search functionality, they contact us. Thus, involvement from our side is after the interaction design has been made.
Since the customers are big companies, the interaction design has been made by external consultants who usually have a long going relationship with our customer, but don’t have a great knowledge about search. When the implementation starts, we’ve discovered that the interaction design is not perfect in terms of giving the end users a great search experience. This is due to lack of knowledge about search technology and what can be made with it. Using my knowledge in the search area I can propose changes in functionality that will give a better user experience. These changes of course requires new interaction design, but since the interaction design consultants has finished their assignment, the interaction design decisions needs to be worked out by our company.
In the worst case scenario this means that the complete interaction design needs to be redone from scratch. This will not be popular for the customer which needs to pay for the same thing twice. However since we at Findwise are search experts with lots of experience from past project and dedicated people working with interaction design we know how to create a good interaction design for search.
In the end this means that the customer is happy with the end result, but hiring us to also do the interaction design would have resulted in less cost for the customer!