I’ve worked at Zure as a UX & Service Designer for almost 2 years! Wow… I remotely bunkered through Covid and still felt like this is a place where I like to walk in every day or surf in remotely (I think we still “surf the internet”, right?).
I like the place, not because everything is superbly ideal here and even the ice cream jumps from the freezer into my hand most of the days at precisely 14:00 magically, no no. There is no perfect place, so I enjoy walking in, talking with people, and listening, whether it’s just my project team or kitchen morning coffee & croissant gathering. Listen, tag team some problem with someone, or gather the work community problemos to be legit processed for the improvement of all. As I listen to people, it is often something about this thing called Azure. It gives us limitations in some ways, but it definitely has more advantages!
This specifically made me think today about this common factor of Zureans. As I am also talking to many UX Designer candidates looking to work here, there’s a common worry about it. “I haven’t really done anything with Azure, but I know my company uses it.” or perhaps a tiny fear of “I don’t really know Azure, BUT I’m willing to learn!”. This is a common occurrence.
Here’s a small answer to all who are perhaps thinking along the lines of “What’s Azure, and how handicapped am I not knowing anything about it?”. 🙂
Microsoft and Azure ecosystem is big. You DON’T have to know anything about it, BUT there can be some valuable things when crafting user-centered solutions! You don’t need to get technical with it. Just be aware of it. We got the tech experts who handle that side and help you out.
1) Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Cognitive Services out of the box!
I’ve facilitated a series of 3 workshops where I was brainstorming with customers about the vast capabilities of Azure Cognitive Services and how to utilize their messy fractioned data by a big organization’s IT departments. We focused on topics that benefit all 4 IT departments and bring the people together.
Read up here on some use cases to get new ideas about how this can help you design in a totally “artificial” mindset.
2) Usage statistics with Application Insights!
Whenever we create an application and deploy it to Azure, we enable monitoring that makes sure we use the right amount of resources for data crunching and user interface interactions. Again, it’s just a basic and reasonable thing to do consistently.
You want to know if the system is up and running with efficiency. Well, that’s not all… wouldn’t you be pretty interested in getting straight from the same monitoring usage statistics like unique users, sessions, user countries, browsers used, even specific events fired, and more.
Imagine a business with an internal tool with hundreds of users in 20 countries. You can connect the dots on how in Brazil, users heavily use a particular feature, whereas users in China barely touch it. Time to look into that, then! Have we perhaps designed something a bit off here?
Yup, there’s Google Analytics and others, but we can keep all the monitoring data and functions in one ecosystem and send the data around more manageable, which is really neat.
Microsoft’s documentation on the capabilities gives you an idea of what kind of A/B testing, user flows, retention, or other statistics you can set up.