User Experience (UX) and a UX-driven approach to digital has been a growing trend over recent years. Driven by a number of factors such as consumer’s increasing uptake of digital (and peripheral) devices, the push for richer and more engaging experiences, trail-blazers in the area of intuitive design (such as Apple), innovation in and the increasing capability of digital technology and hardware, and the increasing use of touch-screen devices which, by definition, provide a more tactile and interactive user experience.
However, this is an approach that often requires quite a significant change within digital agencies, particularly those whose background lies within a more design-led approach.
Although seemingly superficially semantic in difference, considering user experience and interaction before look and feel requires not just a change in process but also mindset – and I have seen agencies really struggle or even be resistant to this change.
This will be to their cost.
And this is where there is a huge advantage to having a background rooted in designing and developing for mobile. From the very start; the “before iPhone days”, working in mobile has required an approach that focusses on user’s interactions with their devices, on minimising superfluous artefacts, considering the most efficient and effective user journey, and making this all intuitive to the user.
Coming from a mobile, rather than a digital, background has given us, at our core, a user and device centric approach.
Consideration of optimising user journeys, understanding user interaction with digital devices and assets, and making things not just look great but feel and act great is ingrained in everyone involved in the process.
So whilst mobile agencies such as ourselves may have been the poor relations a few years ago in comparison to our bigger digital cousins, scampering around for tit-bits of budget amongst the foliage, I prefer to think of us as the fleet-footed and adaptable mobile mammals that will survive the UX ice-age. Whereas our larger, and more resistant to change, digital dinosaur cousins will struggle to adapt and some may well not make it through. It is us mammals that will conquer the digital world…