Changing the user experience can be dangerous


As many know, I like to do home improvement projects, so I spend quite some time at the local hardware store purchasing supplies.  I’ve been going to the same store for years. I’ve been using the self-service checkout lanes for years. I’ve been purchasing my items with a credit card for years.

Everything was going great until I personally crashed the credit card payment system for my checkout lane (seriously).

So what changed? The credit card checkout process changed because my credit card now includes the security chip technology.  The instructions on the screen were clear, I was simply on auto-pilot, doing the same process I’ve been doing for decades.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly fine changing my behavior IF (and that is a big IF) there is a valid reason for it.  This process changed because it is supposed to make my credit card more secure.

But changing something just to change it with no added value is a great way to annoy me.

Take a look at the following, recently recorded video discussing Microsoft Skype for Business.  Typically, in these types of videos, you see how much better something is to something else.  This is different.  The goal wasn’t to change the experience, it was to make the experience IDENTICAL to what users are accustomed to experiencing.

So tell me, did we hit the mark?

We accomplished this by going back to one of our XenApp Best Practices: For the best combination of user experience and resource consumption, optimize appropriately

So, how does this work?

Let’s look at it from 2 different perspectives:

  1. Admin Perspective: Skype executes within the virtual desktop but the media executes on the end point.  When I make a call to another Skype user, the voice and video goes from my end point to the other user’s end point.  If we are having a conference call, it’s the same process except with more people.  Although Skype is physically running remotely, within my virtual desktop, the media transcoding occurs on the endpoint. This removes network hops. It removes network latency.  It provides a better experience for the user.
  2. User Perspective: The entire Skype session executes within the virtual desktop. But even though the implementation is different, the user’s experience is identical to the traditional PC.

And finally, I keep talking about Skype in the virtual desktop, but that’s because saying published app, shared desktop, pooled desktop, personal desktop, and on and on and on is too long.  This works for all of these delivery options.

Daniel (Follow @djfeller)
XenApp Best Practices
XenApp Videos

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