By Gregory Pings, manager of content marketing for Xerox

Mobile devices have set new design expectations over the past decade. Most people expect all screens to be touchscreens that provide intuitive feedback. They also expect apps to be simple, easy to use and effective. It’s about putting the user in control of their printers – just like their smartphones and tablets.

Take a look at your printer. Yes, it can improve your workflow, support mobile workers and run automated processes.  But shouldn’t you be able add and tweak these capabilities without having to rely on tech support? Shouldn’t your most casual users be able to use these apps without additional training? Xerox answered “yes” when we launched our newest line of ConnectKey-enabled printers and multifunction printers on March 29.

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ConnectKey technology transforms how employees work, giving them the freedom to solve problems, be more productive, and take on new challenges.
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“Making the user interface on the printer look and act like the UI on your phone or tablet is more complex than attaching a tablet to the printer,” said Keith Watson, manager and strategist in Xerox’ Experience Design Group. “Beyond simply supporting ‘mobile-like’ hardware, our new user interface balances out mobile and MFP expectations. That’s why we took the lessons and insights about smartphone app design and applied them to our printers.”

Our primary goal placed great emphasis on ensuring that all tasks are intuitive. Our out of the box simplicity allows users to customize, personalize and automate their workflows for today’s requirements — or whatever tomorrow’s imagination brings.

“We worked closely with our field research teams and customers,” Keith said. “They helped us understand their requirements and how our equipment can support a wider range of unique user profiles and their tasks.”

Based on observation and feedback from Xerox customers, all ConnectKey apps are designed to focus on the most common task. Critical controls are elevated, making it clear where to start. Additional features are accessed by swiping, making it easy to confirm or change settings.

For instance, the primary task for email is to add recipients. On entry into the app, you will see a keyboard that supports intelligent search. Next, you can easily scroll and review other options. These task-based apps emphasize the required steps, then allow you to use other settings as needed. The result: Switching between mobile and Xerox devices is easy, reducing time on task as well as training costs.

“This is about relief from constraints,” Keith pointed out. “It is the rush of excitement when something finally works the way you expect. That is what we are doing with our design: Make it easy to do the things you want to do, and expose you to things you didn’t know you could do.

“That is how our team sets the page free.”