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The UX of Automated Processes
How to deliver great experience with fewer actors…
Service
Employee User
The UX of Automated Processes
How to retain human intuition in an automated solution…
Service
User
© Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved.
What we’ll chat about…
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype
Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
Step 0: Workflow
Customer
chooses a
drink type
Customer
selects
specific drink
and quantity
UI shows
total price,
asks for
confirmation
Customer
confirms and
taps for
payment
Payment
confirmed,
drink is
poured.
Customer
receives a
well-poured
drink.
© Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved.
What we’ll chat about…
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype
Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing
Contextual enquiry with user.
What you’re looking for:
- Nuances of the job.
- Current system problems.
- Current solutions outside the system.
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing - Summary
What should have done by now…
- Mapped happy path workflow.
- Main end user goal.
- Worked out where this can go wrong.
- List of ‘hacks’ to aid product
development.
- First time we did this…
© Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved.
What we’ll chat about…
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype
Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
© Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved.
What we’ll chat about…
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype
Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Not all edge-cases are equal.
Get all the minds together.
- Product
- Engineering
- UX
- Commercial/Sales
Get all the issues up on the walls.
Review in light of the goal.
“Customer receives a well-poured
drink autonomously”
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Tier 1 - User goal entirely unmet - bake into your solution from MVP
Tier 2 - User goal is partially met - maybe bake in MVP, maybe support until V.2
Tier 3 - User goal is met, but process is painful - will probably always be support
Tier 4 - User goal is met, tangential aspect not met - willfully ignore safe to ignore
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Customer receives a well-poured drink
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Tier 4
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Step 2: Prioritise the issues - Summary
What you should have done by now…
- Workflowed the happy path, know the
user goal.
- Prioritised the issues into the 4 tiers.
- Some solutionising
- Few solutions covering many workarounds
- An initial idea of support user role.
© Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved.
What we’ll chat about…
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype
Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
© Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved.
What we’ll chat about…
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype
Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
Software it’s pretty easy…
You can prototype anything!
Step 3: Prototype, Prototype, Prototype
My tips:
- Strip back as much as possible.
- Just test core user interaction.
- Pretend to be the automation.
- Trust me it’s fun!
Simulate your tier 1 issues.
Step 3: Prototype, Prototype, Prototype
Hold firm on not responding:
- Questions = thought process
- Troubleshooting = what they’d do
Bake-in:
- Reassuring copy or audio.
- Workflow that takes into account their
action.
Step 3: Prototype, Prototype, Prototype
What you should have done by now…
- Workflowed the happy path, know the user goal, know the issues
- For all Tier 1 and (hopefully) Tier 2 issues solutions ideated.
- Prototyped and tested every chunk of the process.
- Ideally tested end-to-end too.
- Ideally in a state where it all works.
- Finalised to-market/go-live product build.
Step 3: Prototype, Prototype, Prototype - Summary
© Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved.
What we’ll chat about…
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype
Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
Step 4: Crafting your Shadow Support User
Support behind the scenes that keeps it
running.
Unseen until needed, but always watching.
3 things to think about:
1. How they are alerted?
2. How they will engage with the system?
3. What is your automation to support ratio?
Step 4.1: Alerting
- Is your user physically present?
- Visual or auditory.
- Handheld.
- Is your user remote?
- Notifications
- Automated prioritisation of issues
Step 4.2: System Engagement
- Easily accessible for user.
- Hidden from customer.
- Function over style.
- 1 page.
- Grid of well-described buttons.
- Not pretty… as long as it is clear.
Step 4.3: Automation to Support Ratio
- Automation aims to reduce Opex…
- Ratio of automation to support user is
critical
- Larger ratio - faster ROI, more room for bad UX
- Smaller ratio - slower ROI, better UX
- It’s gradual…
- Stress testing through development:
- Frequency of issues
- Necessary support ratio for good UX
- The impact on ROI timelines
- Makes resourcing conversations easier.
© Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved.
And that’s it…
Step 1: Learn what you’re losing
- Current state and process flow
- Documenting non-standard flow tasks
Step 2: Prioritise the issues
- 4 tiers
- Ideate solutions
Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype
- Wizard of Oz-ing
- Part testing vs. Full end-to-end testing
Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
- Alerting
- Engagement interface
- Support to automation ratio
Fancy carrying on the conversation? Come find
me and let’s chat about…
- UX and automation
- Hardware UX
- UX engagement styles
- B2B UX research
- Graduate schemes
- Storytelling and presenting

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The UX of Automation by AJ King, Senior UX Researcher, Ocado

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4. The UX of Automated Processes How to deliver great experience with fewer actors… Service Employee User
  • 5. The UX of Automated Processes How to retain human intuition in an automated solution… Service User
  • 6. © Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved. What we’ll chat about… Step 1: Learn what you’re losing Step 2: Prioritise the issues Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
  • 7. Step 0: Workflow Customer chooses a drink type Customer selects specific drink and quantity UI shows total price, asks for confirmation Customer confirms and taps for payment Payment confirmed, drink is poured. Customer receives a well-poured drink.
  • 8. © Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved. What we’ll chat about… Step 1: Learn what you’re losing Step 2: Prioritise the issues Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
  • 9. Step 1: Learn what you’re losing Contextual enquiry with user. What you’re looking for: - Nuances of the job. - Current system problems. - Current solutions outside the system.
  • 10. Step 1: Learn what you’re losing - Summary What should have done by now… - Mapped happy path workflow. - Main end user goal. - Worked out where this can go wrong. - List of ‘hacks’ to aid product development. - First time we did this…
  • 11. © Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved. What we’ll chat about… Step 1: Learn what you’re losing Step 2: Prioritise the issues Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
  • 12. © Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved. What we’ll chat about… Step 1: Learn what you’re losing Step 2: Prioritise the issues Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
  • 13. Step 2: Prioritise the issues Not all edge-cases are equal. Get all the minds together. - Product - Engineering - UX - Commercial/Sales Get all the issues up on the walls. Review in light of the goal. “Customer receives a well-poured drink autonomously”
  • 14. Step 2: Prioritise the issues Tier 1 - User goal entirely unmet - bake into your solution from MVP Tier 2 - User goal is partially met - maybe bake in MVP, maybe support until V.2 Tier 3 - User goal is met, but process is painful - will probably always be support Tier 4 - User goal is met, tangential aspect not met - willfully ignore safe to ignore
  • 15. Step 2: Prioritise the issues Customer receives a well-poured drink Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4
  • 16. Step 2: Prioritise the issues
  • 17. Step 2: Prioritise the issues - Summary What you should have done by now… - Workflowed the happy path, know the user goal. - Prioritised the issues into the 4 tiers. - Some solutionising - Few solutions covering many workarounds - An initial idea of support user role.
  • 18. © Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved. What we’ll chat about… Step 1: Learn what you’re losing Step 2: Prioritise the issues Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
  • 19. © Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved. What we’ll chat about… Step 1: Learn what you’re losing Step 2: Prioritise the issues Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
  • 20. Software it’s pretty easy… You can prototype anything! Step 3: Prototype, Prototype, Prototype My tips: - Strip back as much as possible. - Just test core user interaction. - Pretend to be the automation. - Trust me it’s fun!
  • 21. Simulate your tier 1 issues. Step 3: Prototype, Prototype, Prototype Hold firm on not responding: - Questions = thought process - Troubleshooting = what they’d do Bake-in: - Reassuring copy or audio. - Workflow that takes into account their action.
  • 22. Step 3: Prototype, Prototype, Prototype
  • 23. What you should have done by now… - Workflowed the happy path, know the user goal, know the issues - For all Tier 1 and (hopefully) Tier 2 issues solutions ideated. - Prototyped and tested every chunk of the process. - Ideally tested end-to-end too. - Ideally in a state where it all works. - Finalised to-market/go-live product build. Step 3: Prototype, Prototype, Prototype - Summary
  • 24. © Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved. What we’ll chat about… Step 1: Learn what you’re losing Step 2: Prioritise the issues Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype Step 4: Crafting your shadow user
  • 25. Step 4: Crafting your Shadow Support User Support behind the scenes that keeps it running. Unseen until needed, but always watching. 3 things to think about: 1. How they are alerted? 2. How they will engage with the system? 3. What is your automation to support ratio?
  • 26. Step 4.1: Alerting - Is your user physically present? - Visual or auditory. - Handheld. - Is your user remote? - Notifications - Automated prioritisation of issues
  • 27. Step 4.2: System Engagement - Easily accessible for user. - Hidden from customer. - Function over style. - 1 page. - Grid of well-described buttons. - Not pretty… as long as it is clear.
  • 28. Step 4.3: Automation to Support Ratio - Automation aims to reduce Opex… - Ratio of automation to support user is critical - Larger ratio - faster ROI, more room for bad UX - Smaller ratio - slower ROI, better UX - It’s gradual… - Stress testing through development: - Frequency of issues - Necessary support ratio for good UX - The impact on ROI timelines - Makes resourcing conversations easier.
  • 29. © Copyright 2024 Ocado Group plc. All rights reserved. And that’s it… Step 1: Learn what you’re losing - Current state and process flow - Documenting non-standard flow tasks Step 2: Prioritise the issues - 4 tiers - Ideate solutions Step 3: Prototype, prototype, prototype - Wizard of Oz-ing - Part testing vs. Full end-to-end testing Step 4: Crafting your shadow user - Alerting - Engagement interface - Support to automation ratio
  • 30. Fancy carrying on the conversation? Come find me and let’s chat about… - UX and automation - Hardware UX - UX engagement styles - B2B UX research - Graduate schemes - Storytelling and presenting