For years I worked at a UX Design agency, and one of the most common things we heard from software executives is that they want their user interface to "wow" their users. Typically, everyone says they want a design that is "clean", "sexy", "wow", "whiz-bang", and so forth. They think of User Experience Design as being all about visual eye candy and creative features.
And it makes sense. More than ever, the user experience of your product will define the success of your product in the market. No one wants an ugly solution, they want an aesthetically appealing, creative app that users will instantly fall in love with. Something that communicates to the world that your company is breaking new ground.
The only problem is - users don't care about that stuff.
If you are interviewing a vendor or issuing an RFP to develop custom software for the Enterprise, there are numerous program, training, support, architecture, and security requirements that any Enterprise-grade system should have. Here is a checklist of questions to probe any vendor about the maturity of their enterprise software development approach end-to-end.
Whether launching a brand new digital product or modernizing a legacy solution, the User Experience (UX) Design is what your customers will experience first and foremost. A UX Design can make or break the value of your product. A compelling design immediately taps into the emotion of your users, creating excitement and making the discovery and adoption intuitive. But a design ‘miss’ can erode so much of the investment and hard work that the team otherwise put into the product.
Most managers are familiar with UX Design techniques, but how do you ensure you have the right people and processes to ensure design success?
Here in Canada we had a small online payment processor, Koho Financial, get breached. They are a startup, only 107 employees, but process billions of dollars of payments a year. The breach cost them millions. FinTech has not had a lot of major public data breaches in recent years compared to most other industries. Perhaps they are more diligent in their security practices, or maybe they're just better at keeping it under wraps?
When an incident does occur though, even to small companies, so much money flows through them that the impact can be spectacular.
A story for leaders of all levels.
Late projects: it’s a PM's worst nightmare, yet for many it’s a way of life. The development team started a new initiative and committed to (or were forced into) a deadline. Now the project is running way behind. How did we get here? More importantly, how do we fix it?
As a PM, a big part of your job is show-and-tell, whether pitching a new product or feature to your internal stakeholders, to a customer, or at a trade show. Like it or not, you are the modern-age Don Draper. Give the right pitch and you’ll unlock praise (“That’s exactly what we want!”), revenue, and recognition. Do it wrong and you’ll leave everyone scratching their heads.
This article is a complete guide to pitching digital applications that win over the audience, including how to prototype the right product, position the right demo, and say the right words when you are in the room yourself.
SupTech (short for “supervisory technology”) is a subset of RegTech. Whereas RegTech enables companies to be more effective at meeting their regulatory and compliance obligations, SupTech is technology for the regulators to use themselves, to support their supervisory activities, lower costs and increase their regulatory efficiency and effectiveness. The idea is that it’s not just regulated entities that can benefit from RegTech, but also the regulators themselves.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, financial regulations have increased, and other regulations have followed suit (e.g. in manufacturing, data privacy). The result is that companies, especially enterprises, have a myriad of compliance obligations that are very time consuming and for which they are at risk of being penalized. RegTech addresses this problem, helping those companies to automate their internal data collection, analysis, reporting, attestation, etc. SupTech helps regulators (aka supervisors) such as central banks and other regulators of financial institutions, insurance, manufacturing, transport, healthcare and other industries be more efficient, automated, and reduce errors and costs.
Way back in 2003 when I still a young developer and the practice of "peer code review" was just catching on, I wrote a code review checklist that ended up becoming the reference linked by Wikipedia for many years. Though the list still feels mainly applicable to object-oriented languages like C++, Java, and C#, I believe it still holds up well as a reference for any team looking to produce maintainable, defect-free code.
As a CIO, if your enterprise relies on solutions that look like something out of the 1990s, it's often because that's exactly what they are. These applications - ERPs and home-grown core operations systems met an immediate business need at the time, then layer upon layer was built on top and entrenched into the foundational processes of the business. Now you are at a catch-22: pressure to modernize to meet the growing digital needs of the enterprise, while at the same time not risking the legacy software that is vital to day-to-day operations.
How do you prioritize legacy transformation as part of a digital transformation roadmap?
Build a UX design team with 3 vital skills: design research, interaction design, and visual design.
SaaS software platforms have had enormous success based on a fundamental principle: motivate users to keep coming back. Recurring usage leads to recurring revenue leads to crazy-high valuations.
In fact, most software attempts to motivate users in some way. But whether the goal is to lose weight, learn Spanish, save for retirement, or just get users to "check in" daily - long-term motivation is hard. You have to develop a habit in users that sticks.
Even top executives consistently make this mistake when sending e-mail.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to someone about to start their own business, what would it be?
From Sigmund Freud to Jimi Hendrix to Stephen King, some of the greatest minds have resorted to extreme measures to unleash their creativity and push the limits of innovation. But think of your company’s management team—do you feel that same commitment to ground-breaking innovation?
As part of a market research initiative my team recently interviewed a group of software executives and mid-level managers. We asked them questions about product management, scheduling, budgeting, etc. and they gave us typical answers. But when I asked the question, “How do you promote innovation?”, I got a lot of blank stares.
Despite companies across the nation espousing the need for innovation and creativity, in the software industry, “creative types” are usually relegated to specific areas like UI design (the one area in fact, where there is a stronger need for rigorous analysis than creativity). Creativity in process and management is not often a top consideration.
But management teams don’t have to break out mind-altering drugs in order to bring their organizations to the next level. A simple commitment to innovation will go a long way—a 3-step process I've labeled LSD (an acronym I hope you'll remember):