In this latest edition of our multi-part blog series on the important people behind TaskRay’s products, we are focusing on user experience design. Learn how our UX/UI Designer, Michael DeMarco, strives to provide a customer onboarding solution that emphasizes usability, social principles and an agile approach by listening thoughtfully to our user base to collaborate in creating a cutting edge customer journey.
What do you like the most about UX/UI?
I enjoy the science behind the user experience; I see myself as a scientist with a design degree. I went to school for physical product design. I began with packaging and point of purchase displays and from there, I grew the size of the products I was designing and started designing trade show exhibits for Samsung.hat’s where I got interested in creating a journey and telling a story — user experience and experiential design.
At TaskRay, because customer onboarding is such a new concept, there’s a lot of opportunity to be part of thought leadership in the field, and to build best practices for onboarding into our software. I enjoy learning from the behaviors of our users, and I design our products with those patterns in mind. The whole adage of ‘the customer is always correct’ is something that I typically disagree with in a retail environment. However, in this context, if all of our customers are doing something in a certain way, we should build the product around them instead of trying to change their habits or impose our ideas of how something should be done. Finding the right balance of imposing best practices and designed for user behavior has been a challenge that has led to some awesome experiences within the app. I was initially drawn to TaskRay because I resonated with Blakely’s vision of creating beautiful software that offers a beautiful experience for users in a business setting. I joined Taskray to help design their user experience with that intention in mind.
What is the importance of UX and UI for customer success? More specifically, when it goes wrong, what’s at stake?
While there’s room for experimentation, as a company, getting things right is super important in the competitive business landscape. New startups are innovating ways of doing things all the time. So, no matter how good your tool functions, if the actual interaction between the product and the human using it is clunky, then it’s going to fail, which makes the user experience vital to success.
Success is no longer just about the product: you have to have a good experience. We recognize that and we’re in collaboration with the customer success team to find problems, identify solutions, and provide a great journey. If we had a great product but no customer success team, the company would fail. If we had a really good customer success team with a flimsy product, the company would fail. So I think we’re figuring out a really good balance between customer success and product and what that base product is going to be and how it’s going to interact with our users.
What is TaskRay’s approach to UX/UI?
As TaskRay’s first dedicated UX designer my role is to bring more unity to the tool. My biggest goal is to create a manifesto for a design philosophy for our product at large. Developers are like engineers; their job is to make it function. I like to think of UX design as more aligned with architecture. The people building the product are not always the same people designing it. In startups that’s typically the last layer–you start with finding someone to build it. So it’s not uncommon for design to take a back seat, or to come in a little bit later in the structure of a company. We have a functional building and now an architect can come in and renovate it to bring consistency and ease to the user’s journey.
TaskRay is working with our customers to create the best tools for everyone. There’s a lot of connections between us and our customers and I love talking to our customers and discovering what their pain points are, as well as and where they see the potential for improvement and additional functionality. Due to the size of our company right now, users are really becoming part of the team themselves when they purchase our product. I’m very interested in talking to as many of our customers as possible and tailoring the base product to what fits everyone’s needs.
What do want prospects and the marketplace at large to know about TaskRay?
TaskRay is built on top of Salesforce as a native app. And for that reason, we try to make TaskRay as Salesforce-like as possible. However, Salesforce does not have a design specific philosophy, so building in more design philosophy and functionality to TaskRay is our objective. We take the Salesforce design and add to it, almost hypothesizing what they would do in these situations because we want to prioritize that “native app” experience for users. Those challenges and those constraints are actually what gives me a lot of energy in this role. I think that the best product comes from the things you decide not to use. For me, this is a really fun challenge.
Interested in experiencing our onboarding solution first hand? Check out our free demo here.