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I've been a designer for about 10 years, 8 of which I've been designing web sites. The fancy buzz-word way of saying you work on websites is to say that you work in "User Experience Design." The user experience is how someone (a user) might interact with something (a website, an ATM, or in this case QlikView). You consider what troubles a user might encounter, what might be helpful, how they will accomplish certain tasks, etc. From Amazon to Zappos, User Experience Design is the (not so) secret ingredient that separates the bad experiences from great experiences with loyal customers.

So what makes User Experience Design work? One of the keys is to be empathetic, to put yourself in the shoes of the user and design for them and not yourself. You design for and with others, that is you don't do it alone. Designers are just one group of people who take a website from conception to completion. Information Architects, Writers, Designers, Developers, and Usability Engineers all contribute to the process. People with specialized disciplines doing what they do best to make great experiences. If you aren't lucky enough to have a team of bright UX professionals, it probably means you will have to become a "jack of all trades" and take on all of these roles yourself.

Never fear. As a guide I've written the attached Technical Paper that walks you through how you can apply the iterative UX waterfall design process to developing QlikView applications. There is a lot of overlap between designing a website and designing a QlikView application because at the heart of both is the user experience. Designing for what is best for the user is key no matter what the final product.

Next Steps? Start small. I would recommend trying these ideas on a smaller, easier project first and then apply what works for you to larger projects over time.

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