The Communication Studio

... as a Business

JV-portrait: Business

UxP is the Competitive Edge

UxP is the new "killer app" for any enterprise involved in the interactive arena.

Design, like lifestyle, is one of the few differentiating factors, and companies that ignore the power of elegant and functional design will lose.

Tom Peters

The Primary Focus

The enterprise has its own Primary Business.  Often the company has grown quickly in recent years, primarily through acquisition – and is now a major international player with multiple divisions, competing in an international, technologically sophisticated landscape. 

The challenges to the enterprise are cultural and operational

Cultural integration
Giving personnel and offices a sense of being part of the same team (The HR challenge)
Operational integration
Getting offices and businesses to work together effectively (The IT challenge)

Implementing Interactivity

Like many large corporations today, the enterprise’s Secondary Business is IT.  In recent years the corporate IT department has become a software development shop. The design mandate has evolved from technical implementation to customer satisfaction. The development team already knows how to deliver functional code.

The current challenge is to deliver ease-of-use

Years ago, IT & MIS simply provided “back end” service, processing business data on mainframes and serving up reports.  Usability wasn’t an issue: IT served a limited audience; there was no competition and – early on the curve – there were few expectations.

That was then.  Now we have the Web, a sophisticated user base and abundant competition.  As a result, the IT shop must now perform more like a well-formed software development house.

What’s the main difference between an IT shop and a professional software development house?

User Experience Practice

The Competitive Edge

That’s why the enterprise’s Tertiary Business is now UxP.  The emergence of Interaction Design as a skilled position marks the coming of age of the traditional IT working environment. Perhaps more importantly, it assumes an organizational vision that anticipates the future and a commitment to change the way we work. In an increasingly competitive environment, Integration is key and Usability is the competitive edge.

UxP IS uniquely capable of providing integrative “rubber meets the road” skills that answer the dual corporate challenges of cultural and operational integration.

The future challenge is change

This presents a new set of organizational and management challenges to the enterprise that wishes to increase their quality factor.

When considering UxP, it is necessary to understand that we are talking about a technically astute, customer-centric creative service bureau (emphasis on “creative”).  This is a very different kind of business – one in which traditional corporate and technical managers typically have little experience.