Part 1 – the background
Gytis Markevicius came to Arnlea to introduce User Experience (UX) to the Oil & Gas industry. Commonplace for consumer brands and in other industries, UX and User Interface (UI) have not been a software priority for Ex inspection and other software employed by oil & gas operators and their supply chain partners, until now.
Most of our competitors do not have in-house product design teams and for the oil & gas industry, this isn’t surprising. It’s a fairly new field in many industries and although some of the larger less specialist commercial software companies are starting to notice the real advantages of offering it, it’s quite rare in a dedicated SaaS specialist like Arnlea to have a UI/UX dedicated team.
Traditionally, we used to focus more on the tasks a user needed to complete, rather than the interface the user would work on and how they would experience performing those tasks. Equally, business development meetings usually take place with senior managers who do not conduct inspections, maintenance or inventory controls personally, and so the conversation is at the HSEQ, financial value, more efficient operational level, rather than how their employees will benefit from a user-friendly interface.
Since I joined the Software Development team, I’ve been able to share my experience and approach with the other developers so that we are now producing some of the most UX/UI-friendly Ex inspection software available anywhere in the world.
This has huge benefits for staff morale, productivity and user enjoyment, above and beyond the already impressive productivity and efficiency, operational and reporting, control and financial, HSEQ and compliance benefits our software delivers anyway.
My background is in design and psychology and that allows me to tailor software interfaces – how the screen looks and what you need to press or do to record your inspection or other data – for our users. It means I prioritise our users and put them at the centre of everything we do. It means we take the right approach to ensure that our software products for Ex inspections, maintenance or inventory control, aesthetically and physically deal with the problems our users have, in a way that is both user-friendly and commercially efficient.
Part 2 of this blog series will look at how working with our development team has created fresh thinking, new ideas and a better product output for customers.