Much of the previous literature about the Cloud has focused on the technological development of the service infrastructure. While this is very important, it is just as important to work on the parallel human-centred stream that focuses on the user, the person, and not just the technology. This is what user-experience work is all about: understanding what people need, want, desire - and what fits into their lifestyles.
The four years (2010-2013) of the Finnish Cloud Software Programme resulted in a rich exploration and innovation of the user experience and service design in the Cloud. The book "Landmarks for the User Experience in the Cloud" shares some of the findings and insights from the end users', developers' and business managers' points of view. Creating successful Cloud services requires an understanding of user needs, values and practices, and matching the design of innovative services to them. Furthermore, the development companies also need to consider carefully the role of the user experience in their business logic and service delivery processes.
One of the core issues is to place an emphasis on the social experience through features for on-line interaction that can truly connect people. Another key aspect is enabling fluent task transfer with a coherent experience between multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablets and PCs. In addition, users need to feel safe in the Cloud - they should always have a strong sense of privacy and data control.
Based on the work done in the Cloud Software Programme, the book has three main parts. The first part sheds light on people's perceptions of the Cloud - what it means to them and how they "live" in the Cloud. The insights of this part provide a basis for understanding what kind of service and user experience (UX) is needed to support users' practices. The second part takes a developer's viewpoint and presents issues that can help in the development of successful Cloud services. The last part discusses how the UX can give rise to new and better businesses in the Cloud. Finally, the book presents two multiphase case studies, conducted as part of the Cloud Software Programme. Together these parts provide "landmarks" to what is important in Cloud UX development.
The book is aimed at product managers of Cloud services, UX managers, senior managers and students studying subjects related to Cloud development. Although the focus of the book is on consumer services, most of the ideas and arguments presented are applicable also for business services. The book provides practical advice on how to build the best possible user experience - including the "Wow" effect - with Cloud services.
"Landmarks for the User Experience in the Cloud" can be accessed at https://www.cloudsoftwareprogram.org/results/deliverables-and-other-reports/i/29051/1941/landmarks-for-the-user-experience-in-the-cloud
Cloud Software Finland is a four-year programme of Digile (2010-2014), which focuses on developing various aspects of Cloud services. The programme is funded by Tekes.
More information is available at www.cloudsoftwareprogram.org