Hi and welcome to my site and portfolio
My name is Ryan Hawkinson; I am a digital experience architect and strategist.
You may wonder what it means to be a digital experience architect and strategist.
To answer that, we need to build a foundation. To be a strong business competitor, companies need to offer more than a product or service. They need to provide experience driving people to build a relationship with a brand. Over time that relationship can lead to additional sales revenue for the organization. This can even help the company to make higher ticket offers and sales to their clients
Where is the experience?
The company’s experience is built in the physical world through retail locations, packaging, employees, trade shows, events, and print media, to name a few. In the digital world, the experience is brought on by software or SaaS solutions, data, APIs, employees, devices, and security, to name a few.
As you can see, employees are a common component of both physical and digital company experiences. Employees are the ones who help keep the experience going and connected. They have immense power to impact the experience and relationship fostered with the customer. Employees tend to be the face that interacts with a customer. In addition, the employee has to work through various processes and company cultures that all impact the employee and their experience. Circularly, employees impact and are impacted by the company experience.
With SaaS being such a huge component of company operations, there is a great chance the employee is working through software to connect with the client. Or at least track and manage their interactions with a client. Today there is no end to the SaaS offerings a company can work with to foster their experience.
If necessary, a company can also build its own solutions to meet specific business needs. Underlying all the SaaS solutions and software is data. Data is crucial to the progression and maintenance of the experience. Data is intimately connected to the users in the experience, along with the company’s products, solutions, and business processes.
In general, there are three layers on how data, users, & products move through an organization. These items move into the company, are at the company, or are leaving. These three layers can be further broken down into funnels and processes or steps. Funnels provide a framework for each item to move forward in a particular layer. For example, a company may have an employee hiring funnel or process.
This may look like a prospective employee getting to know the company by reading various stats on the company, filling out a job application, having an interview, getting an offer, and starting their job. Similarly, a company could have a funnel or process used to get a new sale. In this funnel, the customer may have a problem and starts searching for resources to solve their issue. Next, they may start to engage with the company to get to know its solution, then purchase the solution. In both situations, someone went from meeting the company to engaging with the company and eventually moving to the position of being at the company.
Funnels, Processes, and Steps
In addition, each funnel or process can be broken down into various steps and procedures to move the person to the next step or process. Underlying each process and step are the various solutions and data. Each solution facilitates processes specific to that aspect of the company. In a way, this is similar to cells in biology. Cells of a certain type build tissues of a certain type which then build certain organ systems. For example, a muscle cell is not typically found in a bone. The muscle cells work with bones, but the muscle cells are tied to a different system, in this case, the muscular system.
Likewise, data will have a certain structure to capture what is important in that aspect of a business. That data will then be part of an application specific to a business function. All of that will likely be in a certain business unit. For example, warehousing needs data on products. That data structure may capture the product name, purchase date, manufacture, cost, price, bin id, warehouse, etc. That data will then be accessed by a warehouse worker, likely using an inventory app. The warehouse worker may be a part of the fulfillment unit of the business.
As a digital experience architect and strategist, I help companies to understand what solutions are the best fit for each situation the company is working through. Not every SaaS application is right for a business. In part, that is a huge reason why there are so many applications for a company to choose from.
Outside of cost and functionality, the impacted users are a huge decision component. The application needs to solve the problems for a business unit, or it will become shelfware. It needs to be user-friendly for both internal and external users or stakeholders. If the app consumes too much user energy, meaning it’s cumbersome to the employees, then adoption may be stagnated or drop off altogether. An app also needs to work properly for customers.
If customers get frustrated using the app, and they can find alternatives, the company could have issues with retention. To top it all off, compliance and security add additional requirements that can often limit available choices.