Kern: Analysing user experience | SupportBiz

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Kern: Analysing user experience

Hyderabad-based Kern Communications felt there was a strong need for companies to understand the potential of user-experience analyses in product development. In an interaction with SupportBiz, Ripul Kumar, founder & CEO, Kern Communications, highlighted the prevailing trends with regards to user experience.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

What is the core focus of your business activity?

Our core focus is the analysis of user experience. We do not ask questions to the users about the product or service that they use, but we closely observe them while they use these products or services.

Ours is a very unique business model, in which we manage to capture real usability experiences and the reactions of the users. We observe the users in their own environment, and we also create an environment for us to observe users. We share our observations about the user experience with our clients, and give them recommendations too. Based on these recommendations, our clients can make necessary changes or amendments to their product/service. As a next step, we work on analysing the change in the user experience after changes have been made in the product/service. We are, thus, closely involved in the product development process of our clients.

What are the main challenges in this market?

The biggest challenge that we face is that of user experience often being considered as a non-priority segment by companies. This becomes a hindrance in convincing clients, and in terms of capturing actual values. Companies should understand that though user experience is not much hyped by the product development team or the marketing team, it has a great impact on the product/service’s survival and growth in the market.

As an entrepreneur, I also faced the challenge of acquiring skilled manpower. My area of business focus is so specialised that the availability of relevant manpower is very limited in India. Outside India, this problem does not arise because of the fact the user experience is considered as an important component of product development there, and it is very common for companies to monitor the user experience of their customers.

What are the key opportunities for your business?

The online platforms are great tools for gauging user experience. I consider this as an opportunity.

Commonly, people only talk about the success or the failure of a product or service. I think knowing why a certain product/service is extremely crucial. If a product is not doing good in the market, I consider this situation as an opportunity for us, as we can analyse the situation and help the client in understanding why it is not getting the desired acceptance in the market.

How has your business experience been so far?

We started in 2004 from Hyderabad, with a turnover of Rs. 5 lakh in the first year of business operations. Last year, we registered a turnover of a couple of crores. We expect this figure to continue growing in future, too.

What are your plans and strategic focus for the next year?

We have understood that local clients are extremely important for us. We have also identified that the banking and e-commerce segments are two important areas which need advanced level of user experience analysis. In the coming year, we plan to reach out to banking and financial institutions with regard to keep them aware of key trends in the user experience domain.

In India, benchmarking in terms of user experience is also not well analysed and documented. So, the scope is huge.