Advertising & Brand Experience
"Experience design is one of today's business essentials: Experience drives adoption – adoption drives value."
User-centricity, customer experience or pain points are among the most frequently used terms when it comes to digitalization. Why are these concepts so crucial for successful digital product development?
"All of these terms are addressing one of the most important aspects for digital product design: empathy for the user. If you don’t know whom you are designing for, you are not designing at all.The future of business is being written by companies which have been leveraging the transformative power of design for quite a while now – think of Google, Spotify, Apple, Airbnb, Netflix and the other big disruptive players. They have completely moved their business strategy and culture to a design-driven approach and mindset. With their successful products, they constantly keep pushing the standards for good user experience and raising the bar for all other companies within the digital playground. We are convinced that experience design is one of today's business essentials: experience drives adoption – adoption drives value. Building true empathy for your users and their needs will lead to sustainable success."
Which methods do you use for building empathy for users and their behaviour?
"There is a broad range of user research tools and methods but in the end it all comes down to one major paradigm: talk to your customer, test early and often with real users! It might sound easy but we still see a lot of companies struggling to incorporate a constant user feedback stream into their digital product lifecycle. We support our clients in every stage of that journey: from an early research and concept phase, throughout product development until launch and product evolution. The methods we're using follow a stacked approach starting with contextual interviews, collaborative workshop formats with users to build personas, and the respective user journeys on top of it reflecting their pains and gains. Based on that we use rapid prototyping to visualise central product ideas and validate them again with real users through different testing methods, like think-aloud or task-driven usability tests combined with eye-tracking and other neuroscientific methods. We strongly believe in this user-centric mindset and therefore build up an interdisciplinary team, not only of UX and UI designers, but also frontend and mobile developers as they're the ones to actually build the digital experiences - and best case also with empathy for their users."
How is Covid-19 impacting the experience challenges your clients are facing?
"As mentioned before, the pressure was already high before COVID-19 to deliver user-centered products with a good experience design. COVID-19 certainly increased the pressure for those business models which are heavily impacted by social distancing and now need to come up with digital engagement solutions quickly. Let's take the automotive industry as an example. The ongoing shift from a pure dealer-driven business model towards direct digital customer interactions and transactions is currently boosted by COVID-19. We tackle that challenge with one of our clients, a major finance provider, by building and launching an automotive finance platform serving the needs of the offline and online car buying journey enabling direct B2C sales with a design-driven approach. In addition to B2C and B2B, we see the importance of experience design on the rise towards B2E – business to employee – solutions. Mobile applications for the workforce are specifically fostered by COVID-19 as the pandemic achieved what many CIOs, HR departments and worker's unions tried for the last decades: make our way of working more flexible and intuitive. “Work the way we live” is the new experience design paradigm for B2E."
Are there specific formats or tools you are offering to solve these challenges?
"We developed a crisp workshop format: the "Deloitte Virtual Ambition Lab", which kickstarts user experience driven development remotely. Through that, we help to create lighthouse projects for digital B2E transformation. It supports innovators to identify efficiency potentials, performance boosts and helps leaders to cope with new requirements of decentral team setups."
How do you evaluate the Corona warn app and its impact on the digital health movement?
"We have made two significant observations with the introduction of this app that will impact further product developments. Firstly, it became possible to give up the central data storage approach. Google and Apple teamed up to deliver a sophisticated technology stack to enable completely encrypted data storage and securely share sensible personal information. Secondly, this technology approach was the prerequisite for a broader acceptance for the app within society. Nevertheless there's still room for improvement regarding the overall experience and adoption rate which should be tackled together with real users and their experience from all perspectives. The warn app - and all other Corona related digital products - are a huge opportunity to pave the way for the future of digital health. For all of us, health care will significantly change in the future: digitally accessible, based on individual needs and a strong focus on prevention due to a better health data base. In the last few years, new legislations were prepared and enforced on the political side. These are now implemented with huge effort by all actors: doctor appointments via video, the unified electronic health record for every patient which connects all care providers or apps on prescription just to mention a few. We're already accompanying our clients on this exciting digital health journey to make an impact that matters."