Take your Siebel UX to the next level

You upgrade to Siebel Innovation Pack 13 or later. You enable Open UI. Your Siebel doesn’t look very different from the old High Interactivity UI. So, what is the Open UI buzz all about?
Enabling Open UI is just the start. Siebel has become a real web application, where you have the flexibility to implement nice usability features. You definitely could build many of them with the older Siebel versions, but the effort was too big to pay.

The biggest benefit of Open UI is that now we started to discuss the topic of Siebel UX, making room for usability improvements.

But let's get practical. What can you do?

Fix small things that matter

Fix small things
Take your corporate brand book and change Siebel CSS accordingly. Not much functionality gained, but users now see it is "their" UI and feel a bit better.
Next, delight your user with simple items that they see every day:
  • Edit background color: draw users' attention to critical field values or records, based on relevant business logic.
  • Add dynamic tooltips: remove confusing back and forth navigation between the screens. Display complementary information at mouseover.
  • Put MVF values as tags: let your user see all selected values in MVF without opening a pick applet.
  • Show the number of records in child view: this helps users decide whether to navigate to a particular view or not.
  • Integrate 3rd party services: skip opening another browser tab and copy-pasting Siebel data there. Integrate Google Maps and feed it with address data from Siebel.

Make common daily tasks easier

Common daily tasks
Find out what tasks your users do in Siebel the most. You can ask them directly, try Siebel Usage Pattern Tracking feature or track activity with 3rd party tools.

Take one task at a time: observe what users are doing in and out of Siebel. E.g., order entry takes 12 minutes in total, out of which 3 minutes spent doing Order entry in Siebel, 4 minutes exploring data in other Siebel screens, and 5 min checking internal web pages, copying some information into the Notepad or making remarks on paper.

Ask plenty of "why" questions to understand what your users need to achieve with every mouse move. Measure the time it takes to complete each operation and aim to cut it by a quarter.
Here are some strategies to boost users' performance:
  • Try Task-Based UI: use this wizard type Siebel feature to bring users the most relevant screens as they progress with a task. No more confusion figuring out where to click to move to the next task’s step.
  • Build clear screens: to help users act quickly, use data visualization elements like icons, charts and timelines instead of list and form applets.
  • Streamline navigation flow: most common tasks should be one click away. Least common tasks should be out of the way, but easy to find when you need them.
  • Implement supportive tools like Sticky Notepad Panel to keep remarks and make links to particular Siebel records.
Real example:
Tele2 studied how their call center handles incoming service calls. Clear screens, streamlined navigation and a custom Logging panel took their Siebel UI from this:
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To this:
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Build lovable UX like a Pro

UX like a Pro
Ready to take the next step? Add UX and UI designers to your team.

Start with User Personas. Enterprise IT traditionally focuses on the data models, business process automation, systems integration. You won't find the User Persona term in the vocabulary or methodology of IT business analyst. With UX, we put the user at the center of our application design.

Your User Persons are likely to come from the Siebel roles. These could be Sales Reps, Contact Centre Agents, Field Engineers. Make them more personal by giving each Persona a name and a face and adding demographical and other attributes.

Define Jobs-to-be-Done. In a typical IT project, we pay attention to granular application features, what fields should be on the screen, business logic to keep records consistent, and how systems should exchange the data. With Jobs-to-be-Done, we study what users want to achieve as they interact with a system, "what jobs your system is hired to do?".

Conduct future research. For your Siebel desktop users, consider running a usability testing. Run several sessions with users, ask them to perform their "Jobs-to-be-Done," record how they work with the system. Observe what they do in Siebel and other IT tools, ask clarifying questions, learn what parts of the flow are easy to understand and complete, and what makes users struggle. Combine this qualitative research with the quantitative one, for example analyzing how users navigate in your Siebel application with the help of Siebel Usage Pattern Tracking.

For the Siebel users working away from their desks, run User Journey Mapping. Understand what they do throughout the day. Figure out how and why they interact with other departments, customers, and IT systems. Learn when and why their emotions go high and low, consider how a mobile app can make their work in the field more productive.

Prototype. Before rushing into coding, testing and deployment, build a clickable prototype first. Run another round of usability testing both for web and mobile apps prototype. Validate if the intended design will make your Siebel significantly better in doing jobs it is hired to do. Find out small changes that further improve the usability of your application.
Are you ready to solve business users complains about cumbersome UI of enterprise IT systems? Improve your company's bottom line? Make your colleagues happier?
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