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Can everything be made better by going digital?

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BY David Merenda

{App Developer}

7 September 2018

Reading Time: 3 minutes

  • Do you have a system that’s stuck in the past?
  • Do you have an idea that could revolutionise the way we perform simple tasks?
  • Should you be looking into a digital system?
  • Could an app or website be for you?

Our mobile phones are now digital Swiss Army Knives letting us perform so many tasks at our fingertips. Far more than you may even realise. Why has this happened and what can you add to our digital lives?

Many people may have already heard of the ‘Desktop Metaphor‘ on Windows computers that has been used to digitise old world concepts such as a workplace desktop. This allows users to quickly familiarise themselves with the concept of how to use a computer much faster than normal. Ever since early PCs we’ve been converting everything we can into the digital format via software and now more frequently apps and websites.

What can we digitise?

As an example, the physical Yellow Pages and White Pages directories were the only way to find address and phone information for a person or business in the past. Now those physical books have been converted into websites. Furthermore, they’ve essentially been ridden from peoples minds due to the search offerings from companies like Google in the same sphere. This is just a simple example of taking an old product and giving it fresh life in the digital realm. The following examples, relevant mainly to corporate companies, are to get your mind thinking about the types of digital evolution that can occur:

  1. Newsletters printed out on paper and distributed manually have mostly been wiped out by email.
  2. Information sheets or activity sessions available in most offices and schools in the form of paper printouts, videos or booklets can now appear as their own apps.
  3. Instructions and video guides that appear as posters, training sessions or via word of mouth can be disseminated via websites or apps.
  4. Internal or external company feedback and suggestions that are rarely asked for or provided nowadays through suggestion boxes and word of mouth are easily called upon via email, app forms or website interaction.
  5. Personal reminders: for the few who have personal assistants I guess this is still a thing! For the rest of us it can only be achieved through an automated system via an email or app notification.
  6. Peer review, compliments and nominations generally only ever given via word of mouth and when prompted can be submitted through anonymous app and website forms.

These examples are relevant within a company but show a starting point of what you can look at in order to improve an existing system with something that’s going to improve staff productivity, give your clients more control and a voice or just bring something new to the table. You may have already digitised some of these systems without knowing through 3rd party systems or via your existing website and app. Just remember than even something as simple as the calculator used to be physical device and was digitised, destined to live in our phones.

Why should we digitise?

Now that you have some examples of the types of things that can potentially be converted you should give a thought to the WHY. Not everything needs to be converted over to the digital realm and you need to think about the reasoning behind the conversion and what you’re looking to achieve from it. Most of the time the answer is going to be “yes, this idea will benefit from being digitised or revitalised” however you may not want to digitise something that, for example, provokes social and physical interaction, something that may have endless answers or dynamic results, requires prior knowledge or help to understand.

One of the most useful ways to digitise ideas is to personalise it. As the idea is going to be on the users personal phone adding functionality or ideas that are specific to the user such as personal reminders brings a huge amount of added value to existing ideas.

If you have an idea that you think could benefit by going digital you don’t always have to jump straight into getting an app or website developed. To test the waters many ideas that don’t require custom functionality can be accomplished through existing services such as a Facebook page, Blog website or even a private chat group. Other more complex ideas will require thought, design and thorough execution to allow for the best possible user experience that’ll keep your users coming back to your website or app.

New ideas aren’t always the best, sometimes revitalising an old concept and putting a fresh twist on it will provide far more benefit than the newest shiny system or idea. If something comes to mind while reading this that you think could benefit from a new coat of paint then don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll point you in the right direction.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Merenda

David is our lead iOS developer, and an integral member of the team. He very quickly proved that he could punch above his weight with his coding expertise and project management skills. He has a fine eye for detail and never misses a trick. Clients immediately get that David knows his stuff, instilling confidence right from that first meeting.

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