The Paralysis of Possibility – Setting Parameters When Implementing Technology
Intuitive, simple to use devices and software are everywhere in our life. Perhaps you get up in the morning, and the first thing you do is grab your smartphone, or your home assistant may read you today's weather and news headlines while you stop in the kitchen for your morning coffee. Great user interfaces and experiences (UI's/UX's) are like the mullet of the technological world, smooth presentation and ease of use in the front, but many-layered complexity and chaos in the back.
Creating those UI's and UX's is the artform of presenting the complex in an easy to use fashion, but how do we create these solutions and avoid getting bogged down by all of the decisions required along the way?
Increasing complexity, increasing choice
At IO Integration, we handle many different software solutions. From the straight forward operating in well defined technological spaces, necessitating little client input, to incredibly powerful solutions that demand we work closely with our clients to define their operational needs. In its purest form, complex underlying solutions require many more decisions which increase the likelihood of becoming paralyzed by possibility.
The perils of choice
Choice can bind us in unforeseen ways and may slow or completely stop us from delivering or utilizing a software solution. Two of the most common pitfalls are not being able to see your way forward due to the many possible ways to proceed while insisting on getting it right the first time and attempting to create the ultimate solution all at once. We have found the best way to obtain success with these complex projects starts with the right approach. Some key points to consider and incorporate into your plan are:
- The destination is the key
The first step is to define the end goal clearly. Using a process of discovery to interview the stakeholders of the final product is critical. A well-defined destination is often as important as the journey itself.
- Break it down and prioritize
Once you know what your end goal is, break it into smaller logical tasks and prioritize them. Working on smaller discreet tasks reduces the number of choices required and can make the insurmountable look possible.
- Work in phases
Using your prioritized task list as a guide, break your project into phases. Each task doesn't need to be a separate phase, but your project shouldn't become a single phase either.
- Be fast, flexible, organic
Phases allow us to roll out the solution in smaller manageable units; quickly respond to and fix issues; allow organic growth of the solution. Introducing the project in smaller units reduces the end-user learning curve and generally increases their buy-in and tolerance for any issues that may arise. Additionally, resolving issues becomes quicker and less troublesome, causing limited up and downstream consequences for any changes. Most importantly, your solution can grow organically, allowing you to quickly integrate solutions for any issues that you missed in your initial discovery.
- Seek the voice of experience
The value of soliciting help can not be understated. Researching forums and user groups in your industry or a casual lunch/dinner with a peer can lead to surprising insights and clarify your thoughts on both specific details and the general scope of your project. For projects with a more comprehensive scope and depth taking advantage of an external professional partner, such as IO Integration, speeds the completion of your project and helps you avoid indecision and roadblocks.
- Welcome feedback
No solution survives the first contact with the end-user, to borrow and modify an old military saying. While end-user feedback has less to do with helping resolve choice paralysis, it is the most crucial aspect of implementing software solutions. Solutions only succeed if the end-users utilize them. Their feedback helps you create the most intuitive user experience possible, leading to successful projects.
If your organization is ready to take the next step on learning how to implement technology solutions for marketing and creative operations, set up a free consultation with an IOI expert today!
About Lou Monaghan
Louis Monaghan, Jr. has been a Senior Systems Engineer since 2011. He began his professional career in the commercial print industry as a prepress professional. During his time in prepress, he was able to combine his love of print with a passion for computing and began automating manual processes to increase productivity. His knowledge of technology evolved alongside a growing industry, and Lou quickly became an expert in automating creative workflows. At IO Integration, Lou helps educate clients, allowing them to unlock the full potential of their software solutions, creating speed and efficiency wherever he goes.
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