A graphic showing a home icon radiating out in colorful rings over a field of flowers that conveys harmony in difference, the potential for abundant growth, and a sense of security.
A graphic showing a home icon radiating out in colorful rings over a field of flowers that conveys harmony in difference, the potential for abundant growth, and a sense of security.

Digital accessibility for the technology your employees and internal stakeholders use every day speaks volumes about your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity in your workplace.

No company’s leadership can truly champion diversity, equity, and inclusion without providing their own employees with digitally accessible internal technology. While many employers are well intentioned and seek to create an equitable workplace for all, many miss out on taking tangible, actionable steps towards inclusivity by becoming internally accessible. Taking these steps will not only support your employees with disabilities, but of all your employees — while also benefiting your business as a whole.

Digital Accessibility Is Close to Home

A happy speech bubble floating next to a sad speech bubble that fell out of his spot.
A happy speech bubble floating next to a sad speech bubble that fell out of his spot.

Forget Agile or whatever for just a minute. This is the most important process conversation you’ve never had.

Digital leads and their teams love to talk process. We’re always wondering, how do we build faster, better, leaner, happier? We carry out heated debates about the best methodologies, put boatloads of effort into implementing our chosen processes across our teams, and spend untold hours attempting to mold our days to fit the workflow we’ve agreed to follow.

But, for all of these conversations about development and design processes, there’s one monumentally critical piece of the puzzle that never gets discussed, pondered…

A picture of the cosmos with an outline of elements from the periodic table. One says “Ux” and the other says “Dv.”
A picture of the cosmos with an outline of elements from the periodic table. One says “Ux” and the other says “Dv.”

User experience, for all its trendy power, is still something of a mystery for development-centered organizations, which don’t know quite how to sell the concept to decision makers. The answer is simple and only one word: Don’t.

How do you convince your client or internal stakeholders that UX is needed? More to the point, how do you get them to pay for it?

You don’t. Don’t try to convince clients or stakeholders that UX is important. Don’t tell them they need it. And certainly, don’t ask them to pay for it. Yes, you read that right.

UX and Readiness

If a company or…

A turqoise background with a picture of an egg. There is text over the egg that reads, “1. Bring Content Strategy to your Table: Timing is Everything.”
A turqoise background with a picture of an egg. There is text over the egg that reads, “1. Bring Content Strategy to your Table: Timing is Everything.”

Content strategy plays a fundamental role in creating user-friendly, successful digital products. Make sure your content strategy experts are present from the start.

Content is an essential part of any digital experience: what it says, but also where, when, and how it appears. You’ll need to populate your site or app with something. And the wrong content strategy can make or break your entire user experience.

Leaving content strategy for last?

Many digital project teams leave content strategy until the last minute. It’s a common misconception that content strategy is just content, and content is just words. …

Hint: it’s all about listening.

Users Are Humans With Human Limitations

Like it or not, we humans simply can’t make accurate predictions about how we will react in a situation until we’re in it. The people that use your site, app, or software product are no different.

During research sessions and interviews, users will often say one thing and do something entirely different once they start actually using your digital product. Users don’t know how to communicate what they need out of your site or app, they just know what they do or don’t like based on their own, non-expert perspective. …

The word “Yes” in bright, giant font, towers over a small blue man who looks up at it.
The word “Yes” in bright, giant font, towers over a small blue man who looks up at it.

You can “yes” yourself right into a UX disaster.

This is likely a familiar story: Your team has spent weeks defining the UX for the latest site, app, or software project. Together, you’ve carefully considered the business requirements, engaged with users and project leaders, planned out UX strategy and interactions. It’s time to show progress to your stakeholders, internal clients, external partners, or whoever has skin in the game.

A request comes back for a change to the interface. It seems reasonable enough on the surface, but it’s one of those requests that has serious implications for the site or…

A white, empty plate with a waiting hand holding chopsticks.
A white, empty plate with a waiting hand holding chopsticks.

Deep into the Agile revolution, we’ve still got a rather big problem. Products continue to routinely ship with significant user experience flaws. Why?

Most of us employ Agile processes to define and validate products in digestible chunks. This should help us find usability flaws early and often, right? This should help us make more user-friendly sites, apps, and software?

Not really, no.

Agile is a development approach created to solve development problems. It addresses issues like chronically overbudget projects, delay culture, poor communication, feature bloat, wasted effort, testing chaos, you name it. The Agile Manifesto proclaims that more efficient, collaborative…

A wooden sign in the middle of forked path that says, “New Projectland,” with an arrow pointing left that reads, “Shortcut Trail,” showing dark, ominous woods. An arrow pointing right reads, “Discovery Path,” pointing towards a beautiful path with green grass and a pond.
A wooden sign in the middle of forked path that says, “New Projectland,” with an arrow pointing left that reads, “Shortcut Trail,” showing dark, ominous woods. An arrow pointing right reads, “Discovery Path,” pointing towards a beautiful path with green grass and a pond.

Faced with deadlines and budget concerns, you might be tempted to skip the Discovery process entirely. But it could be exactly what you need to safeguard your project against certain failure.

Want results?

Discovery is the research and planning phase before a project begins, when everyone involved hammers out project requirements and expectations: goals, scope, timeline, and budget. It provides a sure path from the murky unknown to a clear vision of what your project can and should be, which makes it a great investment in your project’s immediate and long-term success.

And it’s much cheaper than failure.

Minimize risks to minimize failure.

When you identify the…

Graphic of a classic car careening off the edge of a cliff formed by the letter X into dark pink clouds.
Graphic of a classic car careening off the edge of a cliff formed by the letter X into dark pink clouds.

Planning a vacation and building or improving a digital product have far more in common than you think.

When you travel, you probably plan out top spots to visit, confirm bookings, and make sure everybody knows where to be and when to be there. You probably keep important details in your phone, too. And why? Because you know that after two flights, a long layover, an Uber, and a faulty Airbnb keypad, you won’t remember your first name, let alone all those important details that will make your trip worthwhile.

Sites and apps are the same — after refining all…

Graphic of a Wild West sunset showdown between two columns, reminiscent of higher-education, in cowboy hats.
Graphic of a Wild West sunset showdown between two columns, reminiscent of higher-education, in cowboy hats.

Consistent UX strategy will take your organization to next-level success online. But getting decision makers on board is easier said than done in the decentralized world of higher education.

Digital experiences for most universities resemble a vast, lawless territory where divisions, offices, and even individuals act as sovereign entities who do as they wish, for better or — more often — worse.

If you have any responsibility for a university’s digital properties, you know how it goes: Thousands of people with varying levels of digital expertise across your organization make interactive decisions all day every day without regard to consistency…

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Online experiences don’t have to be frustrating. We’re user experience experts making digital products useful, usable, and loved. #UX #UI #userexperience #web

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