DESIGN: YOU’VE MISSED THE POINT

There is still a lot of work to be done educating the corporate world about Design. By which I mean the design of digital experiences. Every company and their culture needs to embrace it, adapt and evolve but deep down, there are few who really want to change. From that, Design as a mindset, practice and reason for being still isn’t fully understood and hasn’t really penetrated the heart of organisations’ DNA & purpose. 

I’m not going to go into great detail defining Design because there are simply too many definitions for this article and frankly we all interpret Design quite differently in the work we do and the lives we live.

However, I will say this, meaningful Design is human centred and underpinned by empathy for people. It’s not the sole responsibility of one person or confined to a department or business unit. Design is not only about solutions and features, it's also about significance and meaning. In our quest to reach transformational agility, Design is the tool for simplifying and humanising technology, systems and processes, thus bringing people together and bridging the gap.

A truly institutionalised and mature Design culture will continuously shape the way customers experience your brand, product and service, always adapting and always governed by people who foster the need to create and grow all forms of experience driven interactions. Both the digital and physical. This I call the CXDC governance model or the Customer Experience Design Council.

Unfortunately, in 2016 many companies still failed to realise this. 

Over the last 12 months we saw like never before, an abundance of new so called CX and innovation departments become the norm, popping up everywhere inside organisations mainly across the banking, insurance, wealth and utilities industries. We saw an enormous amount of time and money thrown at research, planning, channel strategies and the restructuring of teams, roles and departments only to continue the same operational BAU function as before. 

But that’s not the worst part. When the smoke clears there seems to be a frantic race to deliver. Faster ROI which translates into more product features, apps and websites that don’t universally transform the organisations’ holistic customer, brand and user experience. 

And right there exists a very big problem.

Is this because executives and board members push and prioritise the ROI with a sausage factory type approach to delivery due to money spent Vs time to ship? Or is it because we are seeing confusion, dismay and fear more often than not, brought on by these restructures, redundancies, and new hires? 

Take a step back and think about this for a moment. Customers are now teaching brands what they need to become as experiences are more important than they’ve ever been. So, if you’re not listening to your customers through the lens of Design and at every stage of  your digital transformation, then one could argue you’re not being relevant.

In 2016 only 20% of digital transformation leaders studied the mobile customer journey and many still prioritised technology over human centered design and customer centricity. 

If companies truly want to stay relevant and be competitive they must look beyond the traditional operational and functional means by which they exist. They must go beyond understanding digital technologies and satisfying basic customer needs to anticipating those needs. Even before the customer knows what they desire. 

And the only way to achieve this is through the lens of Design. The Human Design of experiences and the moments that matter. These are always proactive and progressive and are quickly becoming the new standard.

Design Thinking Workshop

About This Workshop

Design Thinking & Human Centred Design (HCD) are approaches that look to fully understand customer behaviours, patterns, needs, desires and emotions across a wide range of influencing factors.

An approach and perspective that is strongly people centric where observation, immersion and engagement with customers in context to their own working lives is critical.

Design Thinking & HCD are both driven by empathy and allows us to uncover the right insights into human orientated problems, the challenges faced, the expectations and perceptions when products or services are interacted with.

This workshop will be a hands-on, active participation session which will encourage all participants to communicate a variety of innovative product / service solutions for customers through the following phases:

  • Empathise
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

 

Takeaways

Students will learn:

  • Empathy for people & contexts
  • Customer behaviours & expectations
  • Asking the right questions to frame the right problems
  • Rapid, lean prototyping that addresses a problem and a need
  • In-depth knowledge of the design thinking & HCD process and the tools require

Book your seat at General Assembly

Design Thinking in Motion: The Future of Flight Search

Design Thinking in Motion

bDigital had the pleasure of hosting General Assembly's Design Thinking in Motion Melbourne session.

The brief
Imagine that you're a user experience designer and your brief is as follows:
A fictional startup company 'Assembly Air' has hired you to help them design a new flight search app/website to help make finding the right flight easier. How might you go about rethinking the way travellers search for flights and designing a solution that meets their needs?

 

The diminishing importance of web design

The design of ‘the web page’ as it’s sometimes called is no longer the centre of connected experiences or the conversations consumers are having with brands. Over time it has become more and more irrelevant and incredibly shortsighted.

The history of ‘The web page’ is based on static content that needs to be found and visited. This is a pre-2000 pull-based concept filled with dated principles and legacy patterns. But as emerging technologies continue to discover faster more efficient ways to push content to customers, (biometrics, wearables, contextual awareness, social) the web page is no longer the default priority for business wanting a stronger relationship with its audience.

The truth is, we need better accuracy and more relevancy from websites today to drive customer engagement. There is an overwhelming amount of generic web page content out there that is competing for our attention and organisations are still selfishly making you work to find what’s most important. Why should customers devote their attention to a web page they have to decode, interpret and decipher when time is of the essence and a very specific problem or need must be addressed?

For example. If I start an experience at home on my laptop that requires thought, focus and active participation, then continue that experience on my phone or tablet as I take the train to work, what happens?  As soon as my environment, context of use and behaviour changes then all of a sudden I have very different needs and expectations. Yet I’m still looking at the same experience as before. Sure it’s now responsive and displays nicely but so was the site on my laptop. What’s changed? Presentation of course, but what about the adaptability which addresses any of the above? A provocative subject I'm sure.

Adapting experiences to the changing contexts and behaviours of people is no easy task; humans make decisions in a non-linear and complex manner. Contextual factors as mentioned plus socio-economic status, family dynamics, career and personal outlook or life aspirations, deeply influence every single touch point of a customer's digital journey. We all know this right?

This is not to say that web pages will die. For a simple marketing site or blog using responsive design is most definitely the way forward. Web pages in this format will continue to exist and serve some sort of purpose, but customers are becoming less and less tolerant and more and more impatient when a site is required do more.

Over the last 6-8 years the transition as we all know has been from traditional web design to experience design, web pages to web and native apps, not to mention The Connection of Things as I like to call it, revolving around ecosystems, products, utilities and tools.

So having said that it's now time to grow up as we’ve all been part of the problem. Now more than ever, in a world flooded with cognitive noise, organisations need to dramatically simplify and predictively personalise smaller, more digestible amounts of information to consumers more contextually than ever.

Native apps are of abundance and the app store some are saying is reaching critical mass. Therefore, we need to realise and come to terms with the fact that we must create more emotional moments for customers from web experiences. These moments must form a series of interactive conversations that engage, build trust, empower, surprise and delight anytime, every time, everywhere.