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Building Toward a Self-Adapting User Experience: Understanding the Matrix of Needs

by Amobee, December 08, 2015

At Amobee, we know that our customers are our lifeblood, and as such we put them at the center of every decision we make. We want every interaction they have with our platform to be seamless. Usability – of our software, our support systems, our corporate messaging, our training, and so on – can be a key differentiator for our customers – so it is a top focus area for us.

The User Experience team here at Amobee strives to create a delightful, easy to use, intuitive software system for our customers, but enterprise software can often present a unique user experience design challenge, not necessarily apparent in other software systems. So how do we go about tackling this? We always keep in mind the “Matrix of Needs” – balancing the variables of user role, expertise and task complexity.

User Role: Our system is used by several different types of individuals within the programmatic digital marketing ecosystem. From Campaign Managers – the individuals responsible for executing and optimizing campaigns across display, video, mobile and social channels – to Data Analysts – responsible for slicing and dicing the collected marketing data to give insights on performance and audience – to hybrid roles that combine some of these functions. In a more traditional software example, the user role associated with a product like Microsoft Word would be a writer, whereas the user role for Microsoft Excel might be an accountant. The user experience for each software will be tuned to the needs of the main user roles, even though a writer might sometimes use Excel.

Expertise: Is the end user a novice or an expert? Is the user highly skilled in his or her functional area, such as marketing data analysis, but not highly trainied in the use of Amobee software’s specific data analysis tools? Is the user an expert at some aspects of Amobee’s software, but a novice at others? The challenge for user experience design is to understand how a software can present a workflow that adapts to these levels of experiences. How can we show the user what he or she expects at a certain point in a task, given the level of expertise shown in previous use of the platform?

Task Complexity: Now, keeping in mind the user role and his or her level of expertise, how complex is the task he or she is setting out to complete? How many variables are there? How many steps need to be completed, and how does this map to the user’s mental model of what needs to be accomplished and in what sequence? For example, we can formulate this in terms of a user story. Say a novice Campaign Manager seeks to activate a single channel video marketing campaign, measured by engagement, in order to meet the budget, schedule and reach goals set by her customer. Of course there are more details that can be added to this story, but ideally the software should allow the Campaign Manager to complete this simple user story easily and with a minimal amount of expert software knowledge required.

This Matrix of Needs produces many combinations, of users with different roles and expertise accomplishing simple to extremely complex tasks.

Given this variety of combinations, one user experience for our software wouldn’t fit the bill. The software needs to adapt to the way that each of these users wants to use and work through our products. To be truly successful, our software needs to provide a “self-adapting” model. I think of it like a prism – each user may enter the workflow through a different facet of the prism, but they end up touching all facets through the course of completing a particular task. Ideally, Campaign Manager A should have an experience tuned to her needs and Data Analyst B can have a completely different experience. Within the Amobee Digital Hub, a Campaign Manager may start optimizing a live campaign through Campaign Suite, but through gaining performance insights out of our DataMine Analytics solution find that she needs more efficient segmentation in order to gain better performance, in which case she may transition to working within Audience Suite, our DMP.

A self-adapting user experience model presents information and data back to the user based on his or her own behavior in the system. Essentially it is a personalized experience, up-leveling and prioritizing in view the most common tasks and workflows relevant to that user. At Amobee, personalization is at the heart of everything we do – even the user experience of our own software.

How do we build our software to be self-adapting? I’ll be posting more about the process next week.


About Amobee

Founded in 2005, Amobee is an advertising platform that understands how people consume content. Our goal is to optimize outcomes for advertisers and media companies, while providing a better consumer experience. Through our platform, we help customers further their audience development, optimize their cross channel performance across all TV, connected TV, and digital media, and drive new customer growth through detailed analytics and reporting. Amobee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tremor International, a collection of brands built to unite creativity, data and technology across the open internet.

If you’re curious to learn more, watch the on-demand demo or take a deep dive into our Research & Insights section where you can find recent webinars on-demand, media plan insights & activation templates, and more data-driven content. If you’re ready to take the next step into a sustainable, consumer-first advertising future, contact us today.

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