Last month, Each&Other Director and Principal Designer Brian Herron was interviewed by John Kennedy on Bank of Ireland’s ThinkBusiness.ie
podcast where they spoke about UX principles becoming fundamental in the business world. If you missed it, you can still give it a listen
, or read the recap here.
UX specialists, the Each&Other team have been working together for over 15 years, helping organisations around the world transform their businesses with UX Design. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, the company focuses on three key areas – customer research / UX research, design, and helping companies build their UX capability.
A brief history and future of UX
Historically in the industry, educating potential customers in UX – what it is and what it can do, has been a necessity. Today, UX is a mature industry taught in universities and used by companies of all sizes trying to enhance their business. Right now, there’s huge interest from companies in the digital field trying to release new products & services and make existing products & services better for their customers. That's where UX agencies have been able to help.
In today’s digital world, touch points between customers and organisations are everywhere, but many organisations still fail to be design-thinking and design-led. However…
Everything is designed
Software is no different, it also needs to be designed. And when we think of software, the big innovation that UX brings is that it prioritises the user of the software, over the developer of the software.
The UX world consists of three things. There’s customer experience, or CX, which is the totality of the feeling of doing something, and how the brand and product experiences come together. Then you have the user interface, the UI, containing all the tapping or clicking or other type or interaction with the software or product. In the middle you have the user experience, or UX – which is a process of getting things done to a certain degree of quality and ease.
When Apple was in the process of creating the iPhone, their biggest goal was to be better than the Blackberry, which at the time was being used by a lot of professionals for work purposes due to its unique keyboard functionality. Apple knew if they didn’t crack the user experience and get the interface right, the phone would never succeed. So they followed what would have been an extensive and advanced UX process at the time. While the actual keyboard on the iPhone wasn’t necessarily any better than the one on the Blackberry, it was good enough to allow the phone’s other functions together with the keyboard to reach market dominance, and essentially kill the Blackberry.
Applying factory processes in the digital sphere
While UX is widely understood in the digital business environment these days, more traditional businesses and leaders are coming to terms with it at a slower pace. We see that some of the most exciting startups in FinTech and AgroTech are led by people coming from the industry, wanting to make a change happen that they couldn’t at their previous position. It just takes one innovative example and eventually the rest of the market catches on.
Unless you’re able to keep innovating and expanding, you’re copyable.
UX didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of the UX process has actually been known for decades, and robbed (or loaned, learnt… ) from traditional factories. There are a lot of similarities – you figure out what you need to build, prototype it, test to make sure it works and go and make it.
What the UX industry has done uniquely, has been to apply those processes in the digital sphere.
Why is the demand for UX increasing?
Because UX works and has been proven to work – the process, if run correctly, brings competitive advantages to a business. There’s a few examples where it can deliver:
- Getting better products out the door in a way that’s scalable,
- Reducing risk – if you’ve researched, designed and tested it, it’s more likely going to succeed,
- Improving customer satisfaction.
With all those combined, businesses can see better results in customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention leading to increased revenue.
Each&Other’s path forward
As an independent company, Each&Other have spent the last few years scaling to strategically position themselves in the market, optimising for growth.
Each&Other’s mission is to be the go-to-agency for UX projects and transformations - and that means thinking internationally. Current clients include large organisations such as Google, Zurich and BNP Paribas.
In the future, Each&Other are looking to expand on their global growth. Today, a number of employees and customers are already based outside of Ireland. As a business looking to grow in challenging and changing circumstances, the main focus is on the right kind of work and customers. Along with the US and UK, Germany will remain a focus area for the company, with a German site launch coming up in early 2023.