Few would argue that Apple has become one of the most admired and profitable companies in the world. While innovation, creativity, passion and engineering excellence were critical to its success, the most compelling differentiator was the focus on designing products focused on customer needs, and the ability to keep products simple and easy to use.
When introducing the iPad 2 in March 2011, Jobs stated: “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
Perhaps more telling was Steve's acknowledgement on his return to Apple "One of the things I’ve always found is that you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it. And I’ve made this mistake probably more than anybody else in this room. And I got the scar tissue to prove it."
Apple's focus on the holistic customer's experience is what turned their customers into fans and ultimately triggered broad market appeal that significantly contributed to the consumerization of technology, with far reaching implication for both the marketplace abd the workplace.
Why is this relevant for IT Organizations? It's all about ensuring adoption!
The value of technology is in its adoption and ongoing usage. Your employees are customers of other brands' digital experiences as well as your enterprise apps. They understand "what good looks like" and will gravitate towards digital experiences that are useful, usable and desirable.
When talking to our clients, we often hear them referencing other brand's digital products that they use on a regular basis, whether it’s Amazon's e-Commerce platform, specific features of the Uber experience, or the latest FinTech mobile app. While their discussions at first seem feature oriented, they are often rooted in
- the value it provides to customers,
- how it made their lives easier, and
- how enjoyable the experience was.
This serves as a stark reminder that the technology solutions we create are always being compared to your customer's last best digital experience. This blurring of the line between customer and end user expectations is having a profound impact on enterprise apps.
A new breed of enterprise start-ups are delivering a new generation of easy to adopt, easy to roll out, and easy to use enterprise software. Expect these enterprise startups to increase the desire for well designed enterprise applications. Furthermore, Capital One's acquisition of Adaptive Path, a design consultantcy, speaks to the growing importance of experience design for business.
Follow these 6 Steps to turn your customers into Fans!
While we see a growing recognition among IT Leaders of the importance of the End User Experience, we still come across end users that feel "IT does not get me/it" or "it sometimes feels like IT works against me". Deliberately planning for and adopting more human centered approaches will turn your customers into fans. Here are 6 foundational steps to get you on the path to ensuring end user adoption and satisfaction.
- Making the commitment to user centered design: Most IT organizations inherently operate at the intersection of business and technology. Adding the end user's experience to that intersection, and gaining executive level support and commitment to support the vision lays the foundation to developing technology solutions that customers willingly embrace.
- Setting User Experience Vision and Goals: Creating a Vision statement that aligns to corporate objectives will help gain organizational traction. Setting specific goals, strategies, and measures provides the true North for you and your team to follow.
- Getting the culture right: Constantly communicating and demonstrating your commitment to a user-centered design provides further inspiration for your team. Creating an internal communication plan will help socialize the user experience (UX) vision within the enterprise. Outlining the roadmap, timing, goals and benefits will help with program adoption. Take the time to publically celebrate the wins and coach through the inevitable learning experiences.
- Complementing your team's skills: If you don’t already have UX or Creative Design skills as part of your team, you will be hamstrung out of the gate. These critical design team members go beyond "gathering requirements" to empathetically focus on the end user's experience. It is often what they observe during end user research that provides the insight needed to empower transformative experiences. If you are not prepared to make a commitment to those resources at this stage, consider partnering with a proven Design Consultancy to help jump-start your efforts.
- Taking a hard look at your development methodologies: While most organizations have already embraced Agile Methodologies, integrating UX into agile may seem counter-intuitive at first. Internal innovation, product and marketing teams inherently take a Design Thinking and User Centered Design approach. Discussions and alignment with those teams could promote learning and collaboration on approaches such as Lean UX and minimum viable products (MVP's).
- Embedding Measurement in your Enterprise Applications: Establishing KPI's for enterprise applications, and embedding measurement and feedback loops within your enterprise apps provides great visibility into what features your users find valuable, what can be eliminated, and areas that may need optimization in order to drive adoption.
We’re here to help along your Journey
While this journey will seem daunting at first, it promotes a lot of healthy dialogue as you begin to adopt approaches that other internal teams already embrace. It also sends a loud and clear message that you care about the end user experience and that you are committed to driving the change necessary to have an enterprise impact. Being empathetic to your internal customers and getting some wins under your belt will have a huge impact on how they engage with you and willingly invest their time in your success.
Tapping into the experience of Design Consultancies that have helped organizations with their internal user-centered design journey, can help you accelerate your path to turning your internal customer into Fans.
Just starting your journey or looking for some help along the user-centered journey?