Generally speaking, continuous process improvement (CPI) seeks to determine if an organisation’s business processes are meeting company goals. There are various tools ...
No matter the size of your organisation, achieving and maintaining a high level of operational efficiency is part of the success journey. Usually, striving for efficiency means that the organisation becomes more profitable.
The most successful organisations are always trying to improve the way they operate and finding new and innovative solutions that improve performance. They know the importance of making sure they stay ahead of the competition - at every step of the way.
Generally speaking, continuous process improvement (CPI) seeks to determine if an organisation’s business processes are meeting company goals. There are various tools that are used to achieve this fast - but getting the improvement part right is a little trickier. We’ll get into this in a minute, but first, let’s look at CPI’s application in software development.
For developers, CPI is an ongoing effort to improve products, services or processes through continuous testing and optimisation. This means that attention is put on making sure a business’ products are up-to-date, bug-free and secure. This process is done on a continuous basis as part of a developer’s maintenance protocols.
Changes are implemented either incrementally or in one fell swoop (also known as breakthrough improvement). The advantage of making incremental changes is that improvements are made almost as soon as they have been discovered.
Once these have been processed, the next step is to ensure that you constantly go back to reanalyse all processes throughout the lifecycle of the project and make additional changes. This is one of the pillars of an agile environment.
One of the most popular CPI models used is PDCA, which stands for Plan, Do, Check, and Act. By carefully going through these steps, the ongoing cycle of continuous improvement can be achieved as the model controls and regulates the processes.
One can also start by using business process mapping to visualise all the business processes that require monitoring and assigning responsible individuals. Below is a breakdown of the PDCA model.
Once a workable solution is implemented, it’s time to focus on the next identified urgent areas to improve and the same cycle repeats.
There are a host of benefits when it comes to using CPI for your brand. These ensure that the quality and integrity of the software is kept at a high level. Here are five key benefits:
CPI is a critical element of any software developer team, creating high quality products that stand the test of time while optimising business processes and achieving its goals. Standardisation is thus necessary in terms of implementation best practices.
Each improvement process needs to be thorough to maximise output and returns on investment. At Digital Grind, it's a part of who we are, as CPI and maintenance are implemented in our development projects.
We strive to ensure that your brand receives quality outputs that are adaptable and enhanced on an ongoing basis according to evolving needs. Start a development project with us. Our team is always ready to listen.
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Since the beginning of the digital age, circa the mid-20th century, society has slowly begun to harness the power of information technology. When computers became more portable and cheaper to manufacture, this meant that more people could access them. Mobile phones and device miniaturisation are continuing to make web accessibility more possible today.
Current statistics show that about 15% of the world's population is considered to be living with some sort of disability. While this is a significant proportion of the human race, it’s quite apparent that most technology is designed with the 85% in mind.
Not only that, the web should be fully functional for every single person trying to access it, regardless of their software, hardware or location. Meeting this goal ensures accessibility isn’t exclusive to the majority.
Web accessibility refers to the design and development of websites that are accessible to people living with disabilities. While there are various types of disabilities, there are some that make it difficult for some to access certain types of web content.
Such individuals at times have to use assistive technologies to access it. Examples of these include screen readers, text-to-speech, screen enlargement, voice recognition and word prediction technologies. However, these technologies only work if the principles have been applied by the website creators.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are some web accessibility guidelines provided by the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The current version of these guidelines is WCAG 2.1, although the newer versions 2.2 and 3 are still under draft.
People living with disability face a variety of disadvantages in their day-to-day living; one of these is web accessibility. When some individuals aren’t able to fully access the web, particularly due to its design, they are considered a part of the digitally excluded.
Disability inclusion aims to address the barriers posed by information and communication technology as this infringes on some of their basic rights. A person living with disability has a right to access any web service just as much as an able bodied individual.
Improving accessibility for your website helps to address any discrimination that it can potentially pose on people living with disability. Web accessibility means “that people with disabilities can equally perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with websites and tools.”
There are four principles that should be the baseline for the design or development of a website to ensure accessibility. They can also be applied to any other information technology as well. A website should be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust:
A website or app should be built in a way that ensures that there is alternative access through other senses that may be diminished or missing. This is why there are video captions for those who are partially or completely deaf, for example.
The website should also allow for errors, making sure that the user has ample time to fix them. One example of operability is that a website should cater for those who might use only a keyboard, for example, and cannot use a mouse.
In addition, it should provide feedback to users, helping them with any errors. In fact, any potential errors a user may experience should be mitigated against through contextual help.
There are currently three levels for web accessibility guidelines, according to the WCAG. These are levels A (basic), AA (intermediate) and AAA (optimal). The majority of organisations aim to achieve AA status. Compliance level AAA encompasses the standards of all three levels.
To become Level AAA compliant, you have to meet all 61 success criteria as provided by the WCAG. To help you, the WCAG provides a checklist.
AAA sites are mainly aimed at maximising users and the criteria is very strict. This compliance level is aimed at enabling access to individuals with audiovisual impairments.
Some of the AAA criteria include having a colour contrast level of at least 7:1. In addition, there should be sign language interpretation of media content. Having a variety of accessibility tools is commonplace on AAA sites.
If you are considering a level of compliance you would like to meet, first try and figure out who your target users are. For example, if your website or app is meant for elderly users or those living with disability, then AAA compliance is the way to go.
So, choose a compliance level that suits the needs of both you and your audience. Start taking steps to understand what changes you need to make to your website using the chosen compliance level and watch your audience grow, while better serving your current users.
Author: Brandon Busuttil, MD, Digital Grind
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been synonymous with the worlds of gaming and entertainment over the past decade. And, while using AR has become much more mainstream, it started out as far back as 1968 as this obscure concept that people couldn’t quite get their heads around. Although, the term AR was only invented in 1990.
It is defined as “an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (like a smartphone camera)”. VR, while the more popular cousin of AR, is a more immersive technology, as it completely blocks out the physical world.
Even though we’ve seen the potential of AR to make our lives easier (in tech-focused sci-fi shows like Netlix’s Black Mirror), in the real world, a lot of the big global brands have been rapidly adopting VR in their business models. For the tech-savvy entrepreneur, this is a very exciting opportunity that’s worth investing in and following through with.
AR in the real world
The two most common kinds of AR involve location-based realities and recognition features. You can easily access these from smartphones that have GPS, cameras and several other built-in sensors.
An example of both location and recognition-based AR is the popular gaming app Pokémon GO. Since its hyped release in mid-2016, to masses of eager fans, it has continued to grow in user, from 84 million active users in the US (its main market) at launch to over 311 million in 2020, with billions of dollars spent by users on the app.
One of the contributing factors is the rapid worldwide adoption of smartphones over the past decade with over 3.8 billion users estimated in 2021—an all-time high. This number’s expected to keep growing over the next few years.
For entrepreneurs, this is the best time to harness the power of smartphones, by exploring ways to incorporate AR into their brand strategies. Think about how you’d like to see your brand from a user’s perspective, through their phone camera.
AR can be applied to almost every sector, healthcare, automotive, industrial and entertainment. It has had a positive impact in multiple sectors, with usage continuing to grow each year in several major economies. The gaming sector continues to have the largest AR adoption share.
The economic impact of AR is undeniable, with its usage estimated to contribute over $450 billion to global GDP by 2030. When you combine this with VR, in what is known as mixed reality, the expected impact is even higher at over $1.5 trillion by 2030.
The US holds the lion’s share of AR adoption and spending, with AR and VR expected to boost its GDP to the tune of $537 billion by 2030. Jobs will also be impacted, with an expected boost to over 2.3 million jobs by 2030.
Regions, such as the UAE, have seen rapid adoption of AR and VR, where its GDP is expected to be boosted by $4.1 billion by 2030 while enhancing almost 43,000 jobs. There’s no denying that shifting realities will play a major role in the future of our industry.
The world is changing, so take note
Technology keeps getting better each year, with devices becoming smaller, cheaper, faster and more powerful. At the same time, content is more engaging, with ultra-fast internet speeds making sharing easier.
In addition, consumer behaviour is changing, with one global study suggesting that 76% of consumers would rather spend their money on experiences than on material things. There are two major trends happening right now:
Consumers are also becoming more socially and environmentally aware.
Benefits of AR
Technology should always be expected to solve challenges rather than be a distraction from reality. Generally, using AR should transform the organisation by cutting costs and increasing efficiency,, making life easier. Let’s take a look at some examples of where AR can be applied in the real world to solve real problems.
With AR being a mainly informative technology, customers may also benefit through seeing prices and other details of products displayed on their screen, when they walk into a store with their smart device.
Future of AR
While AR has been incorporated in the vehicle sector (through heads-up displays in some premium cars), this trend is expected to continue in the near future with adoption becoming more mainstream. New and improved smart glasses, such as rumoured Apple AR Glasses, are expected to enter the market at more affordable prices and stand a good chance of capturing the commercial market if this comes to pass.
Smartphones are expected to continue to lead the adoption of AR as they are found in almost every pocket. Holographic AR is expected to increase, particularly in areas like education. This is useful during a global pandemic, for example, with students viewing their instructor through a compatible device.
As we can see, the opportunities for entrepreneurs are endless through AR. If you can find a mode of application that fits your business model - the sky's the limit.
Get in touch
Want to know more about how Digital Grind can help you up your AR game and create something your consumers will love? Contact us.
The web is a fast-paced and ever-changing medium. There are new trends popping up all the time, new browser releases to contend with, and new frontend frameworks to learn.
It can be hard to keep up with all that's happening in our industry. When your job depends on your knowledge of what's new in web development — whether you're a developer or designer — it's especially important that you understand what's current so you don't miss anything that could impact your business or life.
Web development is constantly evolving. As new technologies emerge and more and more devices are being used to access the web, web developers have to keep up with the latest trends in order to create websites that perform well and look great. Let’s take a look at what’s poignant at the moment:
Sometimes the greatest innovations come in simple changes to existing mechanisms, where small changes mean big benefits. We know that consumers value speed, which is evidenced by drop-off rates on sites that take more than 3 seconds to load. As much as 40 percent of your audience will leave when your webpage doesn’t load instantly. This is just one example of many, where consumers expect instant feedback and gratification when interacting with your brand online. In light of this, the growing trend towards accelerating menial tasks is becoming a standard. This is true for both consumer-facing content as well as internal platforms and web developers will be expected to get the basics right before branching off into novelty.
Historically, developers were largely in control of creating a user experience by dictating formats for websites and online platforms. When marketers started to understand the importance of user experience design - new roles emerged in the strategy and creative sphere that blended design with creating a consumer journey. Now, developers and designers are part of increasingly hybrid disciplines, where both are required to work together to generate user interfaces. A prevalent trend is for front-end developers to automatically suggest interface mechanisms, while designers with basic development knowledge are more in demand than ever. Today, the prototyping process is a combined effort and will increasingly merge as design and development overlap in terms of meeting consumer expectations.
AI was once thought of as a concept only meant for sci-fi movies, but has evolved from just theory and cinematic special effects to everyday use. The use of machine learning and natural language processing techniques has improved drastically, faster than previously thought possible. It may seem that the sky's the limit at this point. Current trends indicate that chatbots will continue to feature as a marketing tool for many web developers. The chatbot market is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to reach $83 billion in 2021. Another current AI trend is its use in predictive analytics. Machine learning is being applied to better understand consumer behaviour so as to target them more efficiently. This leads to increased customer acquisition as learned patterns assist in the personalisation of targeted content.
These types of websites are a controversial topic in the marketing world, because while it means less code, easier experimentation and simplified analytics, it can also present a cost to SEO and content limitations by design. Plus, creating enticing and functional user interfaces can become more challenging. However, as a sufficient, resource-efficient tool for SMEs, these sites are on the rise and the art of perfecting a one-page site needs to be a tool in the arsenal of modern developers. One other advantage is that they lead to increased user engagement and ultimately higher conversions than multi-page sites through simplified navigation. In addition, they’re great for any web developer’s clients that may be starting out and don’t yet have a lot of content to offer but need a web presence.
Lastly, a current trend related to all the above in the web development world is the growing use of progressive web apps which may replace native mobile apps in the future. This is being driven by the growing use of mobile devices. Another is the increasing use of voice searches giving rise to digital assistants and the proliferation of IoT.
From what we’ve seen, web development will continue to incorporate newer technologies going into the future. The consensus so far is that, regardless of what development trend is adopted, speed and usability will be the key determining factors of any web design.
At Digital Grind, we stay ahead of the curve as our web development is next level. Be it websites, apps, business intelligence or newer technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality, we have the necessary tools to bring your ideas to life. Start a development project with us. Ready when you are!