In User Experience
Summary: Companies can make the transition and compete online. But your team needs to be on board, and the changes may have passed some of them by.

Changes in the online world come at you fast. We are in a huge transition period for companies that want to compete online. We are moving from a technology-focused, competency model to a UX-focused, simplicity model. Smartphone apps have set user expectations about experience sky-high relative to only a few years ago.

black rotary dial phone is an example of old technology

The Good Old Days

Are you competitive?

Companies can make the transition and compete online. But your team needs to be on board, and the changes may have passed some of them by. We call this the move from the “old” table stakes to the “new” table stakes.

In today’s online world, the new table stakes are:

  • Usability – Users have far less patience for bad or unhelpful interfaces.
  • Integration/Modularization – Even in complex contexts, users expect the information to be well organized and relevant to their interests, but with access to a different “module” as needed.
  • Technology coverage (designing for multiple platforms) – Users do not want to have to switch to the “right” platform in order to take advantage of a service. They will use a different interface to do a task specific to the essential quality of that interface, but the gateway to that usage shouldn’t force people to change.

The old table stakes were:

  • Picking good software. Quality across software packages used to be a lot more uneven and difficult to identify in the past. Now, with higher quality overall packages and strong review sites, making exactly the right choice about a tool is less urgent, and even so they remain relatively cheap or free, well supported, and broadly accessible.
  • Getting the right developers and services. The people and teams who use this software are more mature, sophisticated, and organized than ever before and generally are better partners than the experience of working with developers in the “Wild West” phase of the Internet.
  • Design tools and agencies. You as a business owner can create, collaborate, and iterate more quickly with design concepts than ever before. Design/creative tools and graphics, images, etc. are cheap to acquire and the tools are relatively easy to learn.

Shift your focus

So if your team is talking a lot about software, individual developers, and expensive design packages and agencies, you might ask them what it takes these days to get into the game, and see if they can shift their focus to what matters today.

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