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Measuring User Experience in Modern Applications and Infrastructure

Sagar Nangare

September 27, 2021

Measuring User Experience in Modern Applications and Infrastructure

This article is published by TheNewStack. We are re-publishing it here.

In the past few decades, we have witnessed massive innovation in digital technologies. Due to improvements in network connectivity with high-speed broadband, fixed wireless network connections, and 4G/5G telecom networks, the digital revolution is continuously enhancing the user experience.

This triggers competition among the companies in various sectors that are putting money on digital platforms and want to stay ahead of the competition. In this article, we will understand the competitive landscape in terms of user experience as well as platform readiness to run applications effectively that represent new technology features and the importance of measurement and monitoring.

Key Impact of Applications and Infrastructures on User Experience

Technology disruption in recent years has been the result of the modernization of applications as well as the underlying infrastructure. There is a considerable amount of change in how applications or software services are delivered to end-user devices which are also equipped with computing and storage capacity.

Similarly at IT infrastructure side:

  • New cloud computing platforms (OpenStack, Kubernetes, Docker, VMwareRed Hat Openshift, etc) have also emerged and evolved that enabled applications to fully utilize the infrastructure or servers using virtualization and containerization.
  • Telecom network operators have moved to 4G LTE networks and some operators are testing 5G networks. With the emergence of NFV, SDN and Open RAN technologies most network hardware resources shifted to software running on top of Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware.
  • Enterprises have started to use their own distributed private cloud as well as connected to their cloud branches using SD-WAN.
  • Many organizations from different industries have started leveraging public cloud services along with their own cloud infrastructure using hybrid and multicloud architectures.

Enterprises and telecom operators are competing with each other heavily to provide a better digital experience to end-users with software applications and modernized infrastructure that enables them to deliver the services in an agile manner. But they need to ask themselves a question — are the end-users fully utilizing high-performance network or hardware resources to run their applications?

In the competitive environment, this becomes important for enterprises and service providers to understand that any loopholes or limitations of end-user-facing services can put the business in trouble. Moreover, a lack of understanding of end-user behavior, their expectations, and overall experience put them out of competition in quick time.

In short, it is extremely important for any organization to proactively monitor and measure the performance of their digital services, middleware, and infrastructure.

Example

Let’s take an example of how application bottlenecks can impact user experience and affect business. A food delivery Android application encounters error processing issues while checkout or takes time to confirm the order from the hotel. That might take customers away from using the application and switch to another application that is error-free and can quickly process the order.

Here is another example of how enterprises may face outages to their internal network and hamper business: Suppose an enterprise is planning to upgrade its Kubernetes-based cloud infrastructure to the latest version of Kubernetes. But if it upgrades the platform without testing and validating the environment with existing applications, it is possible that applications might not work and there is no possibility to roll back.

In the food delivery application case, the dev team will need to do measurement and monitoring of applications to validate the performance on any user device. And in enterprise cloud infrastructure cases, they need to perform end-to-end validation of the platform against the key performance indicators (KPIs) and certify the new platform environment in a sandbox environment and then move to production.

This is where Coredge’s flagship product Guardian helps in providing end-to-end system observability and testing capabilities to any applications as well as infrastructure. Specifically for end-user applications, Guardian’s UXBench version is helpful in monitoring and measuring user experience and pushes reports to enhance the delivery of services in the digitally connected network. Additionally, it can proactively gather information about user interactions, errors, small bugs and address those.

The UXBench software development kit (SDK)  can be customized for companies to specifically measure/monitor app-specific API. For example — monitoring payment gateway API for Fintech apps.

Conclusion

Enterprises and telecom operators are making huge investments to build better products and infrastructure, and better delivery of services to customers. For that, they are pushing new technologies and features in their portfolios. But in this transition to push modern software, it is important to proactively understand the key performance indicators at the user as well as cloud-based infrastructure end and proactively address the issues to stay ahead in the competition.

Image source: Unsplash