Sign with words "evolution". Source: Kevin Dooley @ Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/1856663523/
Business 2.0, Design

Do you need a digital strategy?

I’ve been giving the topic of “digital strategy” a bit of thought lately—what does it mean, exactly, in today’s marketplace, to have a digital strategy?

In jamming around some ideas, I recently jotted down the following:

The lines between what’s digital and what’s not have been permanently blurred. Our customers and stakeholders no longer see digital as something separate to their day-to-day “real world” experience. So you can’t afford to either.

The biggest opportunities are often not found in a simple app or product. They require a rethinking of how we do business—how we engage stakeholders in the definition, design and delivery of solutions. How we organise our own resources. How we manage our business to manage risk and build a culture of innovation.

The general vibe I was trying to capture was that having a separate “digital strategy” is problematic in a world where mobile and social technologies enable increasingly integrated experiences—where the “online” and “offline” distinction is less and less meaningful.

I was interested to read, then, a post from McKinsey entitled ‘Transformer in Chief’: The new chief digital officer. So, when early in the article, Tuck Richards notes:

Digital isn’t merely a thing—it’s a new way of doing things. Many companies are focused on developing a digital strategy when they should instead focus on integrating digital into all aspects of the business, from channels and processes and data to the operating model, incentives, and culture.

…it all sounded rather familiar. Continue reading

Sustainability

Positive messaging and behaviour change

Tim Cotter writes in his latest “Awake” newsletter on “Do positive messages lead to more positive outcomes?”, which looks at the efficacy of positive and negative messaging in relation to behaviour change. I’ve read a lot of different articles that talk about the “loss aversion bias” and many others on how positive messaging can achieve better results, and wondered about the two.

The up-shot is “it depends” — primarily where the person is on their change journey.

Are we primarily trying to draw attention to the issue, or get already-concerned people into action? If we apply Obermiller’s observations to the bypass patients mentioned earlier, it is clear that the people in question were already painfully aware of the seriousness of the issues. So the positive approach to getting them into action was successful because it worked on motivating and supporting them to act.

Tim concludes by saying “These findings also highlight the importance of doing sound research before committing effort and resources to behaviour change initiatives.” Couldn’t agree more — that’s certainly our approach…

(Oh, and I recommend subscribing to Tim’s newsletter, which is available on his website.)

Design

UX Australia reflections

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the UX Australia 2011 conference as both a presenter and participant.

I have to say, the quality of the presentations was impressive — one of the best conferences I’ve been to in recent years based on the amount that I took away from the sessions there. While the calibre overall was high, standout sessions for me were:

  • Kim Goodwin’s Experience Leadership opening keynote definitely set the scene for a lot of the talks I saw, many of which contained elements of organisational change. It was great to see some of the key theories of organisational change mentioned, as well as picking up a few new (for me) pointers as well.
  • Helen Palmer’s Managing Change as a Designed Experience talk was entertaining and energising — no small feat given it was at the end of the day. A novel and interactive presentation approach was a fantastic way to dive into a successful organisational change project.
  • Martin Tomisch’s
    case study
    on the Neighbourhood Scoreboards research project was awesome — great concept, well executed, interesting learnings.
  • Jon Kolko’s presentation on Personality, Discursion and Disruption was a great way to end the conference from my perspective — touching on the deeper purpose and meaning of design, a topic that regular readers will know is close to my heart.
  • While the subject matter wasn’t directly relevant to my work environments, I was fascinated by Michelle and Vicki’s talk on UX Design in a Surgical Environment. (The random images of cute animals — oh look, puppies! — in between surgical images was a nice touch).
  • The “Switching on my ears” case study, presented by Matt Morphett, Shane Morris and Rami Banna also provided an excellent insight into some of the challenges of designing for devices.

And while I missed them, the buzz was that Bob Burns’ ‘A Market of the Senses’ and Ben Kraal’s case study on designing airport security were also ones to catch.