Experience has led me to believe in 3 fundamental principles that guide the approach to digital engagements. It might be that your requirements are a mixture of tactical shorter term goals and longer term aspirations, that may evolve over time. Some maybe well defined, others in their infancy, and the introduction of any new system will impact requirements as they evolve. So, what does this mean for the approach?
- Do not try and design everything at once – This will extend the requirements and design phases out for long periods. Nothing will go live during this time and the landscape is likely to change during the time period, extending the process out even further. It is not feasible to do the detailed design of all of your requirements in one go.
- Deliver incrementally against a prioritised roadmap – This allows the program to deliver revenue creating initiatives earlier and in stages, rather than waiting until the end of the program. It also allows a controlled transition of services and platforms from old to new, manageable business resources and the ability to encompass change over the life of the program.
- Start with what can be achieved – The future vision is usually ground breaking, but will also likely require adaptation, organisational change and possibly updates to core systems. Make progress earlier so that additional revenue can be realised, while you move towards the end state.
The first step of engagement begins by asking the question “What’s Now?” in order to get a clear picture of your business and the environment in which it operates, as it exists today. As such, we begin by immersing ourselves in your organisation, its brand, its operations and the wider industry landscape. Seeking to understand the organisation’s history, its vision, specific business objectives, as well as considerations such as market conditions, social trends and emerging technology.
Simultaneously, we spend time increasing our understanding of your consumers; who they are, what they’re like, what their key priorities are, how they feel about your industry in general and your products specifically. We use the information gathered to develop a fuller picture of the opportunities and challenges that exist from an external perspective, and consider ways that digital technology could address them to positive results.
Content and Channel Strategy
Building on the content inventory we create a comprehensive content strategy including processes for creating new content, approval process, uploading to back-end and deploy to live. During this stage we would start designing the experience using only content. Additionally, we would develop content hierarchies for each unique template with rules and guidelines for how to use the content for each target device and channel.
Design and Development cycle
Once the strategy and insights are complete the emphasis is all about quick, iterative work in order to fail fast, and ultimately succeed sooner. Once everyone involved is happy with the gathered requirements and solutions created we then move into wire framing and visual design. We then look to build higher fidelity prototypes in order to experience the solution and conduct testing. The faster we can get to this point in the process the better, and any learning we gather is driven back into the solution as it is iterated further.
One of the biggest opportunities to engage customers digitally is to be pervasive: learn about them from interactions in all contexts, combine that information in a single platform and use it to deliver tailored content, services and offers to them in every relevant context.