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Collaboration: The Key to Happy Customers and Profitable Business
By Andy Vitale, Head of User Experience Design, SunTrust
The World Wide Web consists of millions of active websites, and the count is rising. Approximately 200 websites are created every minute. Although this seems like a lot, it is a small percentage of the total number of sites (including both active and inactive) in the world. In this vast ocean, an inefficient website can be forgotten due to bad design. The success of a website is gauged according to the positive customer experience that it receives and the value and success it brings to the business. Technology is variable and unpredictable; it brings along breakthroughs that impact the standards and tenets of web designing and development, now and then. These breakthroughs ensure that decision-makers, including designers, and developers, are always mastering new technologies as part of their skill set. Their adaptability and decision-making can determine the tempo of the website’s progress and the outcomes it achieves.
The reason behind these decision-makers to stay familiar with the trends is to overcome rising competition and increase their knowledge. An entrepreneur of a web development organization has to know ways in which the market demands of the website are met with optimum resource utilization. But to resolve issues that involve the perception of end-user requires expertise from those who have more in-depth knowledge of customers’ psychology.
The Modern Approach to Working with New Technologies
Many enterprise organizations have a traditional waterfall environment where the design team works a few sprints ahead to resolve any issue before they hand-off the project to the development team. But the discrepancies and technical limitations affect the collaboration of all the other teams working on the project.
Decision-makers are required to stay familiar with the trends in order to overcome rising competition
Organizations in the present era need to foster collaboration between all the teams, including designers, product managers, and technologists in a project so that any problem can be resolved quickly. This reduces the burden of earmarking time and resources for reviews and team meetings. With agile methodology and co-location, the collaborating teams can work faster compared to the traditional way that felt like a mere hand-off with no connection among the various teams working on a similar project.
By integrating all the teams on a single platform, organizations can empower teams to feel a sense of ownership over theirproducts. Recent trends and tools have made it easier for the designers to collaborate with the development and product partners during the validation of the product for a fruitful outcome. In addition, bringing the customer to the center of the product design and development process has made it easier for insights to be shared across the team, allowing everyone to hear from the customers directly.
Advice to Fellow Peers
For better product development and profits in business, the best solution would be to have representation from each team in the meeting room and conduct a brainstorming session. It not only makes sense for the teams to empathize with the customers but also simultaneously understand the product. This solution is a way to find efficiencies in the workflow. The team has to realize the opportunities that can be created with accurate product development and placement. Addressing customer pain points and needs, whether articulated or unarticulated, is vital for productivewebsite development, and spending time together as a team builds a good rapport amongst each member. The teams have to grow as a single unit and focus on customer journeysto understand the end-to-end perspective of a customer in orderto see the bigger picture, and then identify the areas of focus.
Entrepreneurs and enterprise leaders assume that technology is the ultimate resolution to any problem butin reality the best results come when you start with the customer and the details around their problem. Focusing on customers will result in better success metrics (i.e. efficient workflow, satisfied users, an increase in the retention rate). In addition, the customers will speak highly about the product and provide recommendations to their peers.
The Future Trends in Web Design and Development Space
In the next 24 months, one of the prime areas to focus on is creating ethical and responsible solutions. Privacy, security and safeguarding information is a major consideration for designers today to build trust with the people who use our products, services and solutions. It is a risk to the company if they demand information from a customer that is unnecessary or additional to what is needed. At SunTrust, we are exploring ways to reduce the amount of information we collect from customers up front. The product design community, CIOs, and CTOs need to ensure that their work is accomplished ethically and they have to make themselves aware of the consequences in case the data gets into wrong hands, or the products are used in a way that wasn’t considered. This community and its members are the gatekeepers who safeguard the customer’s data, privacy, and also ensure that the confidentiality of the customer is not breached.