Designers and developers don’t have to be on the cutting edge, but they have to at least acknowledge their job is to serve those they are developing for. And I’m sorry, but mobile phones and social media are no longer cutting edge. They are just a given.
My biggest pet peeve when dealing with tech companies is when I can sense that the design and engineering culture just doesn’t get it. They roll their eyes at texting, or social media, or mobile. When I have to explain to account reps why Twitter or Google+ is relevant (to some people), I feel myself disengaging.
I’m not the most social media savvy person, I don’t see how, at this moment as I struggle to keep up with day to day things in the physical world, how engaging online will help me out at this moment. But I don’t discount it. There are times where it has come to my aide, and I know many customers who benefit from my design considerations have fully integrated social media, texting, or other tech features into their lives. For the better.
When I can sense that developers at an organization I do business with never checked out their “mobile” website on a phone or tablet, I boil inside and my conversations with them quickly disintegrate when they poo poo my ideas adding on to pile of real issues that I and my customers are dealing with.
Design is important, it is so important that if you are in IT you actually need designers, developers, and engineers that, if not willing to embrace technology, are at least willing to acknowledge its existence and the fact that at least 20 percent of their constituents are using it in a certain way.
I don’t expect companies to keep up with “Fads” and “Waves of the Future” as those can be rabbit holes and a funnel for wasted resources. But I do expect them to keep up with things that have stood the test of time, which in technology I think is at least 2 years. Yet so often I feel I am trying to solve 2013 problems with 2007 solutions.
In two weeks we’ll pass into 2014. 2007 will have been SEVEN years ago. Yet social media, mobile, and the internet of things is still not acknowledged by some designers, developers, and managers I network or have a client relationship with at various companies. I’m sorry, but your product will quickly die because there are other solutions out there that are leading the way when you won’t even play catch-up.