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Digital user experience and business strategy

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The computer has become pervasive and ubiquitous. Computers are in homes, workplaces and in public places. On the go, mobile devices enable constant, multi-media communication.
Yet what is truly remarkable about the growth of technology is not how rapidly the hardware has evolved, nor the software, networks, or even the Internet. It is, rather, the fundamental way in which technology has changed human behaviour.

As much an extension of people’s selves as limbs or senses, users have seamlessly adopted technology into the way we interact with the world.
They buy online and rate products. They book their own travel. They research medical conditions and treatments through a vast range of medical resources. They bank and invest using sophisticated tools once available only to financial professionals. And they do it without a second thought.

“The nature of the world itself has changed as a result of technology. Computers are little more than a threshold we step over into an enhanced, digital reality where we consume, share and create content.
“These quantum jumps in the use of technology have dramatic implications for businesses. New customers and clients think, act, and interact differently; their expectations continue to change as well. Successful and sustainable organisations must understand, embrace and act on these changes,” says Gerald Naidoo, CEO of Logikal Consulting.

He explains that the concerns of usability are more far-reaching than whether an application, site or digital service works.
“User experience is the way your target audience interfaces, interacts and exchanges with you, your brand, and your online product, and the way your staff interacts with your organisation. In the era of interactivity and user-created content, user experience is changing the very way we do business.
“There was a time in which digital technologies were just another asset of the enterprise, a tool used to execute strategy developed by management, and delivered to customers. That model has been flipped on its head. As we zoom past Web 2.0 into the realm of Web 3.0, customers are using technology to drive products, marketing and strategy.”

In addition, this approach can change communications within an organisation, ultimately reducing the cost of business. Through automation and smart applications focused on value-added services, employees can access all the information and support they need.
Through the delivery of a versatile, Web-based method of communications, companies can ensure that a pervasive user experience offers effective and meaningful interactions with staff and with customers, delivering against business goals.

“As are an executive, you must see user experience as something bigger than where the buttons are on your Web page. User experience is more than usability dressed up with some semantic flourish. It informs the most vital, strategic issues your organisation will face,” says Naidoo.
“Organisations that fail to understand this will lose their way. But winning organisations will understand how and where users are interacting with them, will make that part of their user experience, and will put digital user experience at the core of their business strategy.”