Juan Pablo Terradas: ‘We were the first company in the sector to take user experience to the place it deserves’

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During the interview, Around’s UX Manager explained why it is crucial for the user to feel at ease and satisfied while using the software that enhances his daily work.

-How important is a User Experience Department in a company like Around?

-When Around was founded, this Department did not exist; in fact, it was created a couple of years ago. The creation came up to fill a market void. At the time, solutions performed a technical role but left a huge aspect unattended and that was user experience. Many times, user interaction depended on how the programmer had set up the software and this led to an unsatisfactory experience.

-How can you define a ‘positive user experience’?

-To deliver a positive experience, during the development phase, we need to tune in with the user and place ourselves as users to create tools for an intuitive and simple operation, involving only a few steps. To meet these goals, we must focus on the user as a core part of our task. The first step of the process is completing a thorough analysis of the workflow to be developed. If there is a previous solution, we draw the experience map in search of the solution’s pain points: frustration moments when the user feels that the tool is useless or did not work as expected. In the same manner, we highlight all the areas where he feels comfortable.

-Which are the differences between user experience and traditional graphic design?

-In general terms, graphic design focuses on visual communication. User experience deals with the entire process of acquiring and integrating a product, including design, usability and function. We use prototypes and tests to emulate how the software operates in a standard browser or a mobile device and receive the comments, objections, and suggestions from the user before proceeding to the software programming component. This is an iterative process: upon receiving a user report, a new prototype is created and tested under a continuous improvement process.

-How is this task coordinated with the Engineering Department to get to the final product?

-Once the business proposal has been accepted, both areas get in touch to exchange opinions about the consequences that the development of a certain code would bring into the experience and vice versa. Then, the work takes separate ways, although the engineering component is involved in the validation processes to check on the feasibility of ideas for the user experience from the technical point of view. At times, something that has been created in our area could be complicated to develop so new options need to be considered. It’s a constant give-and-take.

-Is your education an added value for your position?

-On one hand, I studied computer science and gained experience as an engineer at Vizrt, a software developer for broadcasting products with which Around has built a solid experience in terms of integration. On the other hand, I worked in the graphic design sector. This means, my background involves both worlds. We also have an additional added value: we were the first company in the broadcasting segment to give user experience the importance it deserves.

-Which is your main personal challenge at Around?

-As to my work in the company, I would like Around to reach a maturity level where a tighter relationship between engineering and user experience can be nurtured. In terms of the market, I’d like to continue consolidating our proposal with more solutions for those who work with broadcasting with user experience in continuous evolution.

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