“An Experience Manifesto”

Citrix software allows people to work from any location on any device, supporting remote login to desktops and applications and providing conferencing and online meeting services. Cooper partnered with Citrix in 2009 to unify the company’s user experience across all Citrix products, delivering a user-driven interface and guidelines that align their products’ look and feel. Four months later the result went way beyond either Citrix or Cooper’s expectations—not only did the collaboration yield a simple yet powerful new interface that is enjoyable and responsive to user needs, it also inspired the company to adopt an “Experience Manifesto” based upon the user experience design principles behind the Cooper work.

Driving to Consensus Through Research and Collaboration

From the start, Cooper’s initial research established strong consensus on how the Citrix user experience should evolve. Six large workshops and dozens of individual stakeholder interviews revealed that many end-users, who are part of the growing consumerization trend to improve IT software were only aware of the Citrix brand at negative moments in their experience. Add to that the challenge of secondary brands and product nomenclature that wasn’t unified, and Cooper’s path was evident—synthesize the user experience findings and bring solutions to the table.

Striking a Balance

Key goals of the new design included balancing simplicity with power, creating something familiar but not generic, establishing Citrix brand visibility, and identifying how adaptable the design should be to different contexts.

To meet these challenges the Cooper and Citrix team developed five overarching principles…

Simplicity, Craftsmanship, Delight, Unique Value, Human Goals

Cooper initially imagined these principles might appear on posters or in communication, but their visibility grew and today these principles are used everywhere at Citrix—employees are trained on the importance of the principles, and they show up on their security badges as a daily reminder of their importance. Mark Templeton outlined design as one of his three top goals for the company the last three years, and now even the Citrix legal teams use them to guide their work.

Transformation

In the end, through the crafting of an intuitive and timeless interface design and style guide, Cooper was able to help Citrix transition from technology-driven strategies to design-centered solutions, driving and evolving its brand through user experience, and enhancing user enjoyment and productivity.

Since 2009 the Citrix product design team has grown significantly to over 80 people, the company culture has transformed to be more design- and customer-centric, and its products are winning major industry awards. 

"This is bigger than products"

- Mark Templeton, CEO, Citrix

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