Industries are being won or lost based on user experience that drives an emotional response from customers.
This is the opinion of Ryan Burke, senior vice-president of international at InVisionApp, during his visit to Sydney this week. InVision’s pitch is to help companies create better digital products and get them to market faster, in a consistent way.
Burke said every company today is a digital product company whether they want to be or not, with different digital touch points critical for engagement success.
“The screen is now the most important place in the world. Entire industries can be disrupted by the swipe of a thumb,” Burke told CMO. “Years ago it was OK to have a functioning and fast website and mobile app. Now, companies must differentiate on UX and drive an emotional response through digital touch points. That’s where design plays an increasing role.”
Burke also said design has a positive financial impact on companies, although metrics can be difficult.>
“There are some pockets in the world with some more forward-thinking design companies, like Canva, then you have the banks, telecoms, and insurance companies trying catch up a little bit. Banks get it, but it is harder for them to effect change,” he said.
The good news is Burke believed Australian companies understand the value of design and its critical impact on business and financial success. The challenge is it’s tied to just how quickly can they move, change structures, hire talent and articulate the value to management.
“There is a commercial impact to improving your design. But metrics are hard, and it depends on business goals,” he continued. “Design can deflect call centre calls, drive traffic, develop brand equity, and more. Companies are starting to understand streamlining the design process will let you create efficiencies, and get better products to market, faster.”
Globally, Burke saw so much time, money and effort going into development internally within businesses, when it is design that needs to be at the forefront of every decision.>
“Development needs to be driven by design at the front-end, and companies must get design right across all digital touch points, because there’s so many different ways consumers can interact with your brand now. You have to have consistent and optimised approach, and that will be driven by a design-centric approach.
“The Ubers and Netflixes of the world disrupted legacy industries based on UX with their digital touch points.”
Burke was encouraged by the amount of customer feedback now being sought before time and money is put into the wrong UX, and how continual iteration and design thinking is becoming the norm.
“Design is no longer the group that makes thing pretty, it is a driver of business. Everyone needs to be involved at the front end of that process,” he said. “Clever companies are specialising design upfront to get customer feedback before launch.>
“Feedback is everything today. We need to bring that customer feedback in early in the process and adapt to feedback on an ongoing basis. Design thinking is oriented around empathy with the customer, understanding who they are, and how they will interact with your products. Continual iteration is so important based on user feedback.
“Consumers expect more from their brands now. They have so many more choices based not only on products, but on their UX on an app or website, how easy it is to get info, and all those things are optimised in design.”
With design industry undergoing a boom, Burke said larger companies are looking to bring design experts in-house, and jobs are being created that didn’t even exist five years ago.
“We are seeing a trend of big companies buying UX agencies and bringing them in-house because they need more design expertise. I’m seeing the number one issue companies are having now is finding good design talent, because you need designers sitting in every team across the company and involved in every part of the decision making process,” he said.>
“We have the evolution of the chief design officer, and that title didn’t exist 10 years ago. Design operations teams are also emerging.”
To help, InVision has branched into design education, to sate the thirst in the market for learning. The company made a feature length film on the value of design recently about innovative companies using design to disrupt an industry and has already had more than 500 screenings across the world.
“So we are doing more films, and we now have a film team. Design leadership is vital. It offers value to the design community beyond product,” Burke added.
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