Jeremy Johnson — Dallas Area UX & CX Leader
customer experience leader


Ideas, thoughts & insights.

Why UX should embrace Digital Transformation

This was originally posted on medium on Nov 14, 2016

Digital Transformation is 🔥.

Headlinesarticlesad campaigns — it’s what companies are aspiring to. But what is it? Quick definition: it’s using digital technologies to drive effective business, and in some cases stave off becoming obsolete. Think about most “modern” businesses over 10–20 years old, there are still processes that need paper, even fax machines to complete. They still have systems that don’t talk to each other, outdated databases. There are still digital solutions that are sub-par, hard to use, slow, not meeting customer needs, etc…

This is a race to fix these legacy issues and make sure your organization is ready to compete for the next twenty years. With modern companies only lasting an average of 15 years, you need to transform faster than ever. Yes, “Digital Transformation” a blanket term that means many different things, but it’s also an imperative to business leaders. This is where you come in.

“We believe many CEOs still fail to discriminate between e-business (electronic sales channels and marketing) and true digital business — which blurs the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds, resulting in the transformation of products and services.” — gartner

As User Experience Designers we’re looking at all the touchpoints of a customer or user journey. We’re figuring out with technology teams how to use digital solutions effectively within an organization. We’re pushing for better customer and user understanding that leads to solutions they love while improving your business metrics.

Digital Transformation is moving a company, possibly with large legacy issues — into the future, and with that is an opportunity to move things in the right direction. Start with customer understanding, and use this deep understanding to drive product backlogs. Start with MVPs that remove the clutter from the past 20 years — build to modern technology and design specs.

Build iteratively with agile, cross-trained teams. Connect the dots across an organization, the problems are both wide and deep and all teams need to work together. Your call center reps need all the information, as well as a platform that makes them feel like an expert. Your users need a well designed mobile experience and self-service tools. Tools that can talk to each other so that everyone has all the information they need, and is instantly synced across devices.

Digital Transformation is the rallying cry for a business to continue to be competitive. Customer Experience is the next battleground, and legacy companies won’t get it. Your brand is only as good as your worse experience, and companies are only getting more touchpoints by the week. Website, call center, IVR, mobile app, in-store point-of-sale, connect services, chat bots, IoT, AI…? This is your brand now.

Design Thinking, agile development, human-centered design, lean — these are tools to get us there, but someone needs to think big. Bigger than their slice of the organization. Someone who sees “experience breakage” across channels, touchpoints, and services. Someone who can get insights and data to understand the journey from both the consumer and internal perspective and map out an experience strategy. A team that can then use qualitative and quantitative data to propose new, improved solutions that truly transform an organization to compete in today’s evolving world.

As UX Designers, Customer Experience Leaders, and developers we need to help lead this charge. We’re closest to the experience and the technology. We can illuminate gaps, holes, problems — and shine that light until the c-suite funds programs to get you competitive in the marketplace.

Digital Transformation is in almost every c-level magazine, blog, and whitepaper. They know what it is (generally speaking), and know they don’t what to be the ones at the wheel when someone comes and disrupts their marketplace. Someone that comes from a digital only standpoint and reinvents their business. This is what keeps them awake at night.

Buzz terms serve their purpose. Let the leaders of your company know, what you’re doing is digital transformation work, and you’re here to make sure the company lasts long past their retirement.

Jeremy JohnsonComment