These are unprecedented times. We have learned that certain meetings could actually be an email and that certain work can indeed be done remote. A lot of activities we thought cannot be done are getting done now. While humanity is being pushed to work from quarantined spaces, it is also seen to be pushing boundaries. We are going to emerge out of this with a whole different outlook, for the better. We are bound to look at certain aspects of life differently once this lockdown is over. The best way to look at this lockdown is as a Formula 1 pit stop. From a tech perspective, both product owners and users are thinking of ways to make the best use of this time to recoup for the upcoming post-lockdown era. In this article we explore the lockdown to-do for a tech company – why collaborating with a UX agency during this lockdown is essential for your business.
Top Bosses Roundtable
During the initial days of the lockdown, many companies working in the tech arena- startup founders and eminent leaders- met on various forums online. As a founder of 3 companies, I was also involved in these discussions. They discussed various matters primarily concerning how to conduct the business and day to day operations in this critical period. Here are some of the key topics that were prevalent throughout these discussions:
1. How to acquire more customers and keeping in touch with existing customers
2. Downsizing the business
3. Generate the required capital to keep the organization running
4. Invest in existing and new products
5. Increase the visibility of businesses online
Almost all of the participants agreed that the current period of lockdown is the best period to invest time in product enhancement and innovation. These activities can lead to better and more sales when the downtime ends eventually.
And we see this trend already picking up. Microsoft launched updates for its group communication and collaboration platform, Teams. Within a couple of weeks, Microsoft also rolled out the Meet Now feature in Skype to counter Zoom for hassle-free group calls. This comes at a time when Zoom is being blacklisted by certain companies and public institutions amidst security concerns. The timing couldn’t be any better. Microsoft is the perfect example of fast thinking and rolling out product enhancements that are beneficial to people and beneficial for these times.
Many more examples can be seen in the tech space. Tesla is using its car parts to manufacture respirators- using the Model 3 dashboard screen as ventilator monitor.
Every product owner wanted to build something meaningful in a user’s life when they started out with a revolutionary idea. This exact vision also calls for adapting to the user’s needs in time and again through empathy, research, design and fast prototyping. This is why every product owner should start working with a UX agency during this lockdown for their product enhancement, as they say, modern problems require modern solutions. Here are the 3 types of people who could benefit from UX-ing up their products:
For those who have a new product or Tech Startup Idea
Usually, at the idea stage, it’s highly recommended to go with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is the time where the founders will be having a high-level business idea and are the best time to engage a UX agency to get a visual clarity of what they have in mind as screens or prototype.
For those who have successfully tested with an MVP
Minimum viable product (MVP) is the first step where the founders test the viability/usability of the idea by building a product with a minimum set of critical features. Here the team will have some data to play around and find better clarity on features for a long term product road map. The user behaviour data in hand will help us make necessary enhancements to the product. Again having a UX team on board will be the best thing to do before passing the tasks to the development team to ensure that the team is building the right product.
For those who have existing products
For those who have existing products live and an initial set of paid customers, they can track usage statistics and collect data. At this stage, the product should undergo continuous refinement through active maintenance and constant user feedback. This is the only way to ensure the continuous improvement of the product so that it stays relevant to the users.
According to several studies, “every dollar invested in ease of use returns $10 to $100.” That’s a potential waiting to be tapped. Hence, you will never regret working with a UX agency in this lockdown period when you have limitations for activities that need people on the ground- like sales. UX is all about iterations and is a continuous process that helps your product evolve to be user friendly. UX is the bridge between your users and your product. So make sure that if you have a product idea or an existing product, to work with a UX agency now.