Often, a big decision when starting a new software project is whether or not to outsource development or simply do it in-house. The most common reason for this concern...
Often, a big decision when starting a new software project is whether or not to outsource development or simply do it in-house. The most common reason for this concern to pop up is that companies have heard about bad experiences from friends or colleagues, or they’ve experienced it themselves.
After all, working with third parties can come with its challenges. But as with everything in life, proper planning prevents poor performance - and this applies to outsourcing tasks as much as it does to anything else.
How does this dilemma come about?
Upgrading software is a critical task for any modern business and can improve a company’s productivity by as much as 50%. Apart from this, new systems are more adaptable and have better security, a key factor in today’s data landscape.
According to Norton, one of the most used antivirus softwares in the world, new software and upgrades can help get rid of old flaws. Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly getting better and you should too, to make sure your company’s data and systems are safe and efficient.
In the same breath, companies don’t always have the resources to allocate time and internal spend to technical projects and need support, to a greater or lesser degree.
Every situation and every upgrade is different. It is vital for you to do a thorough analysis of your project, plan out your goals and timeline before deciding who’s going to be responsible for the task of upgrading - and to what extent they’re involved. Key decision-makers should ask themselves:
What is the scope of the upgrade or new development?
The most important question to find an answer to when upgrading your software is why you are doing it. The key objectives you use as a mark, serve as vital information for the development team, and can help you figure out priority and critical areas for development. This will impact the level of resources you need to continue and give you a basis for understanding when and what you can get help with.
Do you have the skillset, internally - and is it your core competency?
Sit down with your team and find out if they have the ability to develop the best possible software.
Building software is a complex process and the benefit of having an outside company is they can have access and knowledge on the latest technology that is being used. (Maxxor Blog) However, many companies don’t have in-house development teams because of the cost or demand for that kind of work on a monthly basis.
On the other hand, some companies do software development for other brands, as their core service offering and this presents an ethical and logistical dilemma. When a skill is your company’s core competency, outsourcing this skill makes your business vulnerable. In these cases, it’s best to enlist temporary or supporting development, rather than putting an entirely separate team on the project.
Do you have capacity?
Does your team have the ability and capacity to do this work while continuing to service your company on a daily basis? Very few businesses can afford a software team solely for building new products. This means that they are constantly dividing their time between your upgrades and their daily tasks.
Your team may have the skills and the experience to get this job done but do they have the capacity with everything else going on? If yes, then you could think about doing it in-house as a priority - even if the cost is higher than that of partnering with other developers. If no, then it may be more effective to look at outsourcing the work to some extent.
Is your internal infrastructure set up for partnerships?
Agility in the software world is key and can help create environments where partnering with service providers is easier. Without the right communications and data-sharing infrastructure, it will be a complex task to plug in new teams and can create a myriad of challenges when working with freelancers or other organizations.
If your internal infrastructure is not geared up for remote and collaborative working, you’re going to have a problem. In these instances, you need to factor in the costs of creating this environment, although the benefits can be two-fold for your business. If you can’t do this, starting in-house may be a more viable option.
What is your budget?
Budget constraints play a major role when going into a new project. And while the face value of one option may be cheaper, you need to take into account the cost of mistakes, setbacks, and not reaching the goals you want to achieve. Besides that, the training and infrastructure costs internally can add up fast and need to be considered.
It may seem cheaper to hire more staff but will you have work for them after this project is done? Further to that S&C says “Businesses cut down their development costs up to 50-60% when they turn to an outsourcing company”.
Typically, there is a lesser risk and cost associated with outsourcing, as you are not bound to permanently employ developers and not responsible for the overheads associated with third parties, however, in cases where they are too far removed from your team, you are likely to incur quality control and time costs.
Who can you outsource to?
There are many companies that offer software development services, but quality and competency are two important considerations. At Digital Grind, we’ve got an established team of digital experts who understand the software and user experience design landscape.
For example, we recently worked on a project with Moro Hub where we built a platform with an A-grade standard of accessibility. In that instance, the infrastructure existed for us to work together as a team and the result was an exciting new platform that could help Moro grow their brand awareness and continue to evolve. Their feedback? "Digital Grind developed our company's website, and they have done an excellent job. They developed a website that was more than our expectation and it is AAA accessible. They were very cooperative and accommodating; their flexibility in amending changes to meet our different stakeholder's requests was exceptional."
So, there are definitely instances where partnering or outsourcing your development can be beneficial to you and your organization. However, considering the checklist above, you will need the right processes and environment to make this achievable and should be aware of your core competencies - and the impact that outsourcing can have on your brand and clients.
When it’s not your game, it’s best to handoff to an all-star team. Speak to us
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When is the right time to post on social media? This is a question asked frequently. The person looks at me, ready for some concrete, illuminating answer. I smile, shift uncomfortably and often have to explain that there is no right time to post on social media.
Yes, you read that correctly. The right time to post is an enigma. Simply put, it doesn’t exist.
‘What?’ You ask. ‘But what about all those pins on Pinterest illustrating the best times to post on the different platforms, is that a lie?’
No. It’s not a lie.
Breathe. Relax. And let me explain.
Whilst having some sort of benchmark of when to schedule your posts is never a bad thing, the blanket approach of timing simply doesn’t work. Each brand on social media has a different audience, with different interests and thus they need to take different approaches. For example, a nightclub will have different times that they should post (ensuring a high engagement rate) compared to the breakfast bar down the road. Their target audience differs. Whilst there may be some overlap between the audiences – i.e. the gentleman who leaves the nightclub to go to the breakfast bar after a night on the town – for the most part, the audience interests, how you will target them and the times they will engage, will differ. And, rightly so: for their business objectives won’t be the same.
This means that whenever you are posting needs to align with your business strategy and objectives – so there is no blanket approach of the right time to post.
So, how do you know when your targeted audience is online and when to post for maximum engagement? Drum roll please… With a social media insights tool! There are many of these insights tools on the market, but very few do the job correctly (hint: obviously Digital Grind uses one of those few). Ideally, you want to use a social media insights tool that not only highlights your optimum posting times, but also conglomerates your social media insights and tracks and measures you against your competitors.
In this understanding the digital objective, for any brand, should be to post at optimum times for that brand in order to gain the maximum organic engagement and reach possible – to their specific audience (more to come on what organic engagement means in our next post).
And lastly, why is reach and engagement so important? Because you want your posts to a) be seen and b) be engaged with. If this is not happening then what is the point? In the age of social media, with so many voices, it’s easy for your brand’s voice to be drowned out. Posting in such a targeted manner ensures that that does not happen, and that your posts actually have impact.
Because everyone wants to be heard right?
Jennifer Mesenbrink famously said "If you build it, you may still need AdWords" which in many ways is a testament to the power of paid media in today's marketing landscape. Even for massive corporations, It's become almost impossible to push organic content without careful thought and some virality to kick-off the process - meaning a greater gap between the haves and the have-nots when it comes to initial budget and the end result.
With this in mind, how do small businesses get ahead of the curve and manage to compete in a landscape that runs on budget they don't always have? As someone who's in the constant process of business and brand growth, I took a minute to jot down some of my thoughts on the subject, in the hopes that it can help open dialogue for business-owners who are at an earlier stage of their career cycle.
Getting down to budget-savvy business…
While a lot of people shunned it at first, TikTok has emerged as one of the most popular social platforms in the world during the pandemic, with the quickest rise and a considerably growing market. It’s quickly become known for having a powerful algorithm and for making the average Joe or Joanna famous, even if it’s just for a minute. No longer do you need to have hundreds of thousands of followers to be in the limelight. Now, one relevant, wholesome or entertaining tiktok can make you a household name within the hour.
There’s a lesson in here for brands who are just starting out or want to reinvigorate their social strategies. Get involved in a way that isn’t too contrived, start partnering with your users and create fun and engaging content for your shot at the limelight.
This will take half the budget of trying to go viral on Instagram with equal or greater payoff. Support users in meaningful ways and share and duet their content and you could be making as many sales as some of the most famous TikTok entrepreneurs.
All told, up-and-coming businesses, startups and SMEs need a fighting chance to stay visible without having to promote every piece of content. By integrating simple but effective changes into existing strategies, they can start to work smart and not expensively - with paid resources serving as a bonus in the medium-to-long term. The more we invest in empowering SMEs and startups, the more larger corporations and franchises benefit too, from sector growth and healthy competition to destabilising monopolies and gaining better qualified service providers - who essentially power our biggest and most impactful campaigns.
Author: Brandon Busuttil, MD, Digital Grind
In this digital era, creating applications that provide exceptional user experiences is vital for business success. As businesses shift their focus towards user-centric approaches, understanding the significance of UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) becomes paramount. Join us as we embark on a journey to explore the world of UX/UI and unveil how it can take your software applications to the next level.
In this blog, we will delve into the core principles of UX/UI design, shedding light on its impact on user satisfaction, efficiency, engagement, and brand perception. By adopting best practices and learning from real-world examples, you will gain insights on how to create intuitive and visually appealing interfaces that captivate and delight your users. So, let's dive in and discover the power of UX/UI design in shaping successful software applications. Get ready to unlock the potential of user-centered design and drive your business towards a competitive advantage.
Let's start by unraveling the world of UX/UI in software development. UX, or User Experience, encompasses the holistic experience that users have while interacting with a software application. It goes beyond aesthetics and delves into the realm of usability, accessibility, and overall satisfaction. On the other hand, UI, or User Interface, refers to the visual and interactive elements that users engage with on the software's interface.
Together, UX and UI form a dynamic duo, working hand in hand to create delightful and seamless experiences for users. UX focuses on understanding user needs, conducting research, and designing intuitive workflows that enable users to achieve their goals effortlessly. UI, on the other hand, adds the visual layer to the experience, incorporating visually appealing designs, clear navigation, and interactive elements that captivate and guide users through the application.
The significance of UX/UI in software development cannot be overstated. By prioritizing user-centered design principles, businesses can create applications that are not only visually appealing but also intuitive, efficient, and enjoyable to use. A well-crafted UX/UI design enhances user engagement, increases customer satisfaction, and ultimately drives business success.
In the following sections of this blog, we will explore the specific benefits of UX/UI in software development. From improved usability and increased conversions to enhanced brand loyalty and positive user perceptions, we will uncover how UX/UI design can elevate your software applications to new heights. So, let's dive deeper into the world of UX/UI and discover the transformative power it holds in shaping exceptional user experiences.
Let's explore the transformative benefits that good UX/UI design brings to software development. When businesses invest in creating exceptional user experiences, they unlock a myriad of advantages:
First and foremost, good UX/UI design enhances user satisfaction. By crafting interfaces that are intuitive, visually appealing, and easy to navigate, businesses create an environment where users feel at ease. When users can seamlessly accomplish their tasks without encountering roadblocks or confusion, they are more likely to develop a positive perception of the brand and remain loyal customers.
Furthermore, effective UX/UI design improves usability and efficiency. By carefully organizing information, implementing clear navigation, and optimizing workflows, businesses streamline the user experience. Users can effortlessly find what they need, complete tasks efficiently, and avoid unnecessary frustrations. This not only saves their time and effort but also contributes to a more enjoyable and productive experience.
Engaging users is another key benefit of good UX/UI design. Interfaces that incorporate visually appealing designs, interactive elements, and thoughtful animations capture users' attention and entice them to explore further. These engaging experiences create memorable moments and foster a sense of connection with the application, leading to increased user engagement and prolonged usage.
Moreover, good UX/UI design reduces the learning curve for new users. When interfaces are designed with user needs in mind, they guide users through complex functionalities and features, making the onboarding process smoother and more intuitive. By providing clear instructions, visual cues, and interactive elements, businesses empower users to quickly grasp the application's capabilities and become proficient users.
Beyond the immediate impact on user experience, good UX/UI design contributes to a positive brand perception. When users have a seamless and enjoyable experience with an application, they associate that positive experience with the brand behind it. A well-crafted user interface reflects the brand's commitment to innovation, user-centeredness, and attention to detail. It reinforces trust, enhances credibility, and contributes to a strong brand image.
Good UX/UI design in software development yields significant benefits. It enhances user satisfaction, improves usability and efficiency, increases user engagement, reduces the learning curve, and shapes a positive brand perception. By investing in creating exceptional user experiences, businesses not only delight their users but also gain a competitive edge in the market. So, let's embrace the power of UX/UI design and create software applications that captivate, engage, and leave a lasting impression on users.
In the next section, we will explore some practical strategies and best practices for incorporating effective UX/UI design into the software development process. By following these guidelines, businesses can ensure that their applications not only meet user expectations but exceed them. Let's dive into the world of UX/UI design and discover how to create software experiences that truly resonate with users.
To achieve effective UX/UI design, consider the following best practices:
By following these best practices, businesses can create software applications that not only meet user expectations but also exceed them. Prioritising user research, intuitive interfaces, accessibility, iterative design, and collaboration between designers and developers leads to applications that are user-friendly, engaging, and successful in the market.
Now let’s explore real-world examples of companies that have embraced UX/UI design principles in their software development process and reaped the benefits. These case studies will provide insights into how effective UX/UI design can drive business success and deliver exceptional user experiences.
Spotify: The music streaming giant has gained popularity not only for its vast music library but also for its user-friendly interface. Its personalised recommendations and easy navigation contribute to an enjoyable and personalised user experience.
Uber: Uber revolutionised the transportation industry with its user-centric approach. Its simple and intuitive interface allows users to request rides with just a few taps, ensuring a convenient and hassle-free experience.
Apple: Known for its sleek and intuitive products, Apple has consistently prioritised UX/UI design. From the seamless interactions on their iPhones to the user-friendly interfaces of their software applications, Apple has set the standard for exceptional user experiences.
These real-world examples demonstrate the power of effective UX/UI design in driving user engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty. By prioritising user needs, creating intuitive interfaces, and delivering delightful experiences, these companies have successfully captured the hearts of their users and gained a competitive edge in their respective industries.
Incorporating best practices in UX/UI design, businesses can create software applications that not only meet user expectations but also exceed them. By investing in user research, iterative design, accessibility, and collaboration between designers and developers, companies can develop applications that resonate with their target audience, drive user engagement, and ultimately contribute to their business success.
In today's digital landscape, prioritising UX/UI design in software development is essential for creating applications that resonate with users. By focusing on user satisfaction, efficiency, engagement, and brand perception, businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition. Embracing best practices and learning from successful case studies, such as those of Airbnb and Slack, can inspire and guide the creation of exceptional user experiences. Digital Grind understands the value of UX/UI design and can be your trusted partner in delivering software solutions that prioritise user-centric design principles. By investing in UX/UI expertise and adopting iterative design processes, businesses can create applications that meet user expectations and drive business success. Don't underestimate the power of UX/UI in software development; prioritise it to unlock the full potential of your applications and connect with your audience on a deeper level.