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Symmetry of attention: How should you design your agent console?

Symmetry of attention: How should you design your agent console?
Elisabeth De Longeaux
Elisabeth De Longeaux Product Marketing Manager at Odigo

To maximise client satisfaction, your agent’s primary work tool should be designed in line with the principle of symmetry of attention. The right UX design of a contact centre agent console is the result of design reviews that involve business actors and a good design system.

November 29, 2019

Symmetry of attention has become essential to customer relations. However, putting it into practice in your contact centre is rarely easy. But don’t worry, this blog is here to help you move from theory to practice. We will take a detailed look at agent console design and show that thinking carefully about your agents’ work tool is essential to creating the most fluid agent journey possible.

In our previous blog, we explained that nowadays, ensuring customer satisfaction is dependent on making your contact centre agents happy. This is the principle of symmetry of attention. To put it into practice in your contact centre, it makes sense to focus first on your agents’ main working tool: the agent console.

If well designed, the agent console will allow your team to minimise the time they have to devote to performing repetitive tasks. Free to focus on value-added work, they then become true brand ambassadors, which is a much more rewarding role.

Best practices in agent console design

When designing the agent console for a contact centre, you need to keep a number of parameters in mind, the most important being the user experience (UX) design, also known as the user-centered design. In this case, that means it is agent-centered.

In practice, you have to put yourself in an agent’s shoes to create a console that is perfectly adapted to his or her needs. To do this, we recommend:

  • Creating a core target by defining detailed personae based on a set of data such as their age, sex, etc.,
  • Defining user scenarios, situations in which they will use the product, detailing both their expectations and any difficulties they may encounter,
  • Developing use cases that are described in a very precise manner and in which users could potentially find themselves. For example: “click on this button,” and “select one of the choices from the drop-down menu,”
  • Organising focus groups to validate concepts and running user tests to validate biases and improve both the ergonomics and usability of the console.

Design review and exchanges between business actors

In order to ensure that the UX design has been correctly thought out, you will have to carry out design reviews. These assess whether or not the developed product conforms to the creative vision and UX desired by the design teams. In other words, it is an examination to make sure that all graphic and technical components are well displayed and working correctly.

It is also crucial to promote exchanges between the different company stakeholders involved in the creation and/or use of the console, whether they are UX Managers, Design System Managers, Product Managers, or Product Owner profiles. The objective here is to join forces and make teamwork as profitable as possible.

Symmetry of attention: the importance of having a design system

A design system must be unique to the company’s identity and digital ecosystem. Though it is somewhat tedious, its construction allows design and development teams to work faster and more efficiently.

In effect, a design system is nothing more than a library of visuals, principles, and reference components made available to designers and developers. This reusable and scalable kit serves as a UX and UI repository to help design and develop the agent console. It includes what was previously divided into ergonomic and graphic guidelines and guarantees a coherent ecosystem. This in turn makes it possible to provide a great user experience to agents, and therefore to customers.

There are a wide range of solutions, such as Sketch, Zeplin, or ng-lightning, that you can use to develop a design system. They make it possible to create, reference, and share every component between design and development teams.

Odigo’s UX team has developed its own design system, based on the founding principles of simplicity and consistency, and always keeping in mind the human and conversational dimensions. By doing so, they equip your agents with an agent console that allows them to become the best brand ambassadors. All this without neglecting the integration of accessibility requirements in terms of contrasts, colors, or text size.

If you would like to learn more about our Contact Center as a Service solution, you can request your demo.

Elisabeth De Longeaux
Product Marketing Manager at Odigo

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