If you were CEO what would you do that we are not doing?
I have been working in corporate America for over 10 years now. I got my degree in Computer Science and started my career as a programmer. Right out of college I started at a company where I was one of two developers. I was the junior developer and the other was a lead developer. I programmed on new projects off and on when one day my manager tells us we are going to learn a new framework called Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). We both watched training videos, but when it came down to it, one of us had to do the UI work. I could tell you that it certainly wasn’t going to be the lead developer. It was me, but little did I know, I would love it.
UI Became More Than The Look
I had been doing design work for that company for 6 years, but to me, it was just about making the software look pretty. I then left the company and worked for another where I got the opportunity to redesign the entire Sterile Processing web application for hospitals all around the world. This software allows hospitals to track instruments throughout the entire sterilization process to ensure it has been properly cleaned and sterilized before it is used on another patient.
When I got to this company the software was outdated and by outdated I mean what I call “Battle Ship Gray.” This is when the UI looks like someone used a tool and drag n’ dropped buttons on a page and called it a UI. Everything was out of place, not organized and the use of space
“If you were CEO what is one thing you think we should do that we are not doing?”
The CTO asked me the question, “If you were CEO what is one thing you think we should do that we are not doing?” We’ll I didn’t just think of one. I thought of 7 things. If I was CEO I would work on Creating a brand. Not just a product that rules all, but a standard. Not just any old standard will due, but an industry standard. This includes:
- A top notch product design. This would require hiring UI/UX designers. I would send them out to the field to find out how the user is using the software and then to design software that is best for them. Software that adds value to the users where they need it most. This would then add value to the stakeholders as the users would build trust with the application and ultimately with the company who provides the software. This would also provide the user with an aesthetically pleasing application that they would want to use. Product owners/ Stakeholders typically don’t see the value in creating user friendly/ aesthetically pleasing, user focused application because they don’t see how they can make money, but I say if you have a good looking and fully functioning intuitive application, those babies would sell themselves.
- Functionality is another area that I would focus on because an application could be the most beautiful, but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I think it is important to focus on the core features that clients want, but to be careful not to just try to please the clients such that you over estimate what features can be done in a release. Features take time to research, implement and test.
- Features is also important. I would create an ecosystem that draws people into the product. For example: Google has maps, storage, YouTube, search assistant, search engine, Chrome etc. I’m use the Google ecosystem alone for Google maps, Google Search and the Chrome browser. In this way I would want to create mobile applications and add-in software that fits easily into the core application. This would keep people using our product because there may be a feature they love that keeps them hooked.
- Your reputation precedes you. When people hear the company name, what do they hear? Is it quality work or that the company has good software support? How about the software is robust and doesn’t have many bugs or any at all. Do the clients have good things to say about the company or are they ready to leave? I would improve customer/client relationship. If you don’t have happy customers/clients, you don’t have revenue and without revenue the company cannot last. It’s important to show our clients that we don’t just want them to buy our product. We care about the experience they receive.
- It is important to show users that we are knowledgeable in our industry. I would create avenues to show what we know such as a blog, website, and top-notch marketing. To build a successful company you have to know your competitors. It is essential to show the world that you aren’t just anybody trying to make a buck. You are knowledgeable in the field and are trustworthy.
- A good sales team is a must. You have to have that person on the team that could sell you an old shoe. You don’t know why you have to have this shoe; However, the salesman makes it seem like you would be missing out on gold if you didn’t get one.
- A top notch customer support team is a must in showing the user/customer that their troubles and frustrations is over as soon as they speak to a representative/ support. No one want’s the user to be stuck or the application to not work as expected, but in the cases where it does it’s important to let the user know there is knowledgeable people who can help. Not only will they help, but they will resolve the situation in a timely manner.
Be the number one product because people choose you, not because you are the only choice
For many of the companies I’ve worked for it seems to be all about the money and not so much about the users experience. I am positive that if companies change their focus to the satisfaction of their clients and look to give them the most value they can, they would see a direct flow of income or value back as the customer has gained trust, loyalty and confidence in the company and their products.