I am still constantly amazed at the number of companies I meet, where the device has lost the battle to software.
In an age where data collection , consolidation and visualisation is happening faster than John Napiers’ exponential equations could have predicted it would, CIO’s are fixed on the software, the software who sells it, what it does, who else uses it ………..rather than does it or will it work for me and my people. Now I’m not saying that these are unimportant questions to have answered, but in a world where we have over 24 000 different smart android devices alone, which is set to explode as we enter an age of digital devices and applications, we need to consider the whole picture, and we cannot be slave to the software anymore.
UI/ UX discussions, wireframes and workshops all rage and buzz words of the day , are becoming an increasingly dominant part of the modern technology /IT function and rightly so . A new career choice and the of the software solutions journey of discovery, we must have a UX/UI design , team and strategy ….. but have we missed something ? Are we simply following the sheep in front, marching to yet another the Software vendors marketing script.
“I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person's experience with the system including industrial design graphics, the interface, the physical interaction and the manual. Since then the term has spread widely, so much so that it is starting to lose its meaning” — Donald Norman
To truly critically evaluate and the user experience, we have to ask and answer some difficult questions. Some of those might isolate us from the crowd and make people feel uncomfortable. Some might even make your boss uncomfortable. Lets face it not many of us enjoy doing that , for some else’s user experience ……… But yet if we don’t, we simply can’t create the kind of stepchange and innovation required to make a difference. We need to critically examine and evaluate all element of the experience.
“Ah…. We cant use that device as the software wont run on it……….” Really?
Don’t you love seeing the little icons on the vendors web site PC, Tablet , smart phone , along with the words “ Any device “ next to it .What you find out when you dig a little deeper is that the software will run on a PC, Tablet and smart phone……. as long as its from a particular vendor and runs a specific operating systems and firmware. As we move from an age where the “provisioned device” ceases to exit due to cost, complexity, scalability and plain preference reasons, the demand for agnostic software solutions becomes critical.
The future …. Connected devices wont have time to wait for software vendors to remove barriers. Digital applications will transcend the debate around whether it should be native and web based, and they will just be.
The race between who can connect to what has begun, and will require tools and methods that are unconstrained by vendor/software paradigms. I'm not saying ” build it yourself " , far from it . But what I am saying is that we need to be more aware the problem we are trying to solve and even more critical of the tools we select to help solve them.
Clinton Schroeder August 2017