Last week, Jason Huang, a trainee of the sixth‘BlackHorse Camp’, shared his opinions with the trainees (from multiple sectors suchas investment, real estate, science & technology and manufacturing) of the eighth “Black Horse Camp” as a senior fellow, and was interviewed by Entrepreneur magazine.This article “To be a Designer that knows User Experiences” was written under the “Black Horse Selection” column of the April 2014 Issue of the Entrepreneur.
Supreme User Experience
Today, with user experiences becoming the supreme thing, how can we do better than just designing an attractive UI?
Zhou Hongyi, who identifies as the Chief Experience Officer of 360. He highly values user experience and attempts to change the landscape of the industry with it. TANG, founded by Jason Huang, is also trying to do the same thing by offering user experience consulting and design services mainly for various websites, hardware products and off-line retail outlets.
Jason Huang, though only 34 years old, is a pioneer of the user experience industry. At theend of 2003, after receiving his master’s degree in Human Computer Interactionin the UK, Jason Huang returned to China and founded UXPA China, the first user experience industry association in China. Since 2004, UXPA China has held an annual User Friendly conference which has considerable authority and reputation within the industry. Until 2013 when he resigned from his presidency, JasonHuang had contributed 10 years to the association. During that time, he got to know quite a number of like-minded friends, many of which are now the user experience design directors of large companies and even his current business partners: Xia Fangyu and Huang Shengshan.
In 2007, Jason Huang led a team of less than 10 people and founded TANG. Then, the 27-year-old manhad mixed feelings. What worried him was that the original funding was only 300,000 yuan, which was no doubt a drop in the ocean for the consulting industry that has extremely high labor and marketing costs. What made him happy was that he had already won the first major client, GE Healthcare. Then, GE Healthcare planned to optimize its X-ray machine operating system, especially for the Chinese market to reduce doctors’ error rateand shooting time. He and his team visited 25 hospitals in 11 typical cities nationwide, interviewed 137 users, designed 3 new interactive and visual interface concepts and verified them in 10 hospitals. Through evaluation, General Care finally chose TANG’s plan. So, Jason Huang earned his first pot of gold, over 1.3 million yuan in 8 months with just 5 people.
Another milestone customer for TANG is IHG. Though past user experience designs often only involved the design of a user interface (UI), this time, Jason Huang went further by participating in research analysis and strategic design. “User experiences are never only about UIs. Good-looking products are not necessarily good products. We help customers design and plan better services for the future.” In this project, Jason Huang and his team spent 6 months completing qualitative research on over 40 users in 5 cities, and designed a series of cross-scenario, cross-channel service plans ranging from the use of websites and cellphones to the arrival at the hotel,based on typical behaviors of the target customer group. Apart from health careand hospitality, the finance, aviation and transportation industries are also sectors that TANG is excelling at. Jason Huang revealed that TANG is cooperating with a private bank in the customer experience design of websites, app sand off-line outlets.
At present, Jason Huang still has his own worries because there is a huge bottleneck in the user experience industry. In the opinion of many leaders of corporate companies, user experience is equal to UI design and very few of them regard it as a strategy. ‘We need people withstrong comprehensive capabilities, who can communicate with the management of companies to improve their understanding and reach a consensus. Then, the people with strong expertise will ensure the quality of the projects.’ said Jason Huang.
A RMB fund partner
A service company needs to achieve a balance between individual needs of customers and providing a standard service. As an industry pioneer, TANG needs to educate the market as well as establish product standards while serving customers. This is the key to its expansion from working with large customers to working with small and medium customers, and then toits large-scale development.