How UX is Driving Metrology Product Design

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For about 18 months, several divisions in Hexagon Metrology have been working on user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) projects.

To start, let’s dig a little deeper into what UX actually is. UX is defined as the overall effect created by the interactions and perceptions our customers have by using our products or services.

Users of our products and services will always have an experience whether we design for it or not. First impressions can determine if our product is a success or a failure. We cannot leave good user experience to chance; we need to take control of our users’ outcome with all our products.

A bad user experience will cost us sales, retention, productivity, market share, brand value and more. Good UX is about creating products that are useful, usable and desirable. It’s a key technology enabler and market differentiator. In the sea of sameness we have in a mature industry like ours, concentration on good UX is essential.

In our own lives, we can remember plenty of experiences where a good one stayed with us forever and bad ones were quickly forgotten. There is a saying in the U.S. – “You only get one chance to make a first impression.”

There is a general shift in our society regarding the expectations of technology and how the UX integrates with our lives:

  • Today, more people have mobile phones than have electricity or safe drinking water (Source: State of the Global Mobile Industry, Annual Assessment 2012)
  • People are more technologically aware
  • Users expect intelligent systems that anticipate their actions
  • Users expect immediate gratification from the user experience
  • Users expect devices that talk to each other; up-and-coming users no longer use traditional interaction devices – an estimated 72% of primary devices bought by 2017 will be tablets and smart phones (Source: Gartner, Inc.)

Hexagon Metrology has spent the last 18 months working on quite a few user experience items to be introduced mostly in our bridge product line. We have tried to take a peek at the future and bring some of it to our CMMs. Some of these are very simple improvements and some will require a little more R&D and implementation.

One product that has benefitted from our new UX product development approach is PC-DMIS TOUCH, where we took the power of a well-established, desktop-based software and provided a revolutionary new way to interact with inspection data and measurement devices.

Some of you have seen examples of these items in prototype form over the last year. As I mentioned above, these items do not necessarily enhance the speed or accuracy of our machine, but concentrate on the efforts customers have to make when preparing a part for measurement and to process after completion of the measurement routine.

We have quite a few surprises for you in 2014. We will be sure to keep you in the loop and prepare you for any major new UX enhancements coming down the pipeline. We also encourage everyone to contribute ideas you think will affect UX for all our products and services. Please e-mail your ideas to UXIdeas@hexagonmetrology.com.

Thinking about the user experience before the users get to experience it – that’s shaping smart change.

Milan Kocic,
Product Manager for Software,
Sensors and User Experience,
Hexagon Metrology
@HexMetrology

Guest Blogger Profile:

Milan Kocic

Milan started with technical support and installation of PC-DMIS DOS and PC-DMIS Windows version 1 in 1994/1995, then moved  to Aftermarket (Software) sales in 1999. He has been in the Product Management group since 2011. He has a BEng in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Economics, as well as an MBA in Strategic Management and International Business.

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