Missed out on last week’s episode?
The world is going through a lot right now.
It seems like every day something else pops up on the news that leads us further down the path of uncertainty.
There are a lot of unknowns for everybody. What is the world going to look like in 6 months? A year? 5 years? How will the technology landscape have changed? How do we maintain our humanity in the midst of all of this?
On this episode of TechTables, we sit down with Randy Ellis, Global Director of DesignOPS at Mokriya, for a chat around the human side of product design. We talked all about the human qualities needed to excel at building a fully remote team, why empathy is more important now than ever before, and the power of narrative in design.
Humanity is a Must for Your Company’s Distributed Workforce
More of the world is working remotely now than they ever have in human history. Entire industries have shifted to having their employee bases at home offices all over the world.
But at Mokriya, they’ve been a fully distributed and remote team for years. They were remote before remote was necessary. With this recent shift, expect a lot of industries to see a surge in WFH requests, and perhaps even whole companies moving to being fully remote.
If that’s the case, how do you ensure that your WFH employees are the right ones? WFH is an attractive option, but one that comes with a lot of requirements, both for the employee and the employer.
If you don’t trust your employees, and if your employees don’t trust one another, remote work is never going to be successful. You’ve got to be able to choose the employees that you TRUST to get the work done without someone checking in constantly and with minimal supervision.
Not everybody is going to thrive in this kind of environment. It doesn’t mean they’re not great employees, or that they’re not as hard-working as those that do. But work from home requires a certain level of autonomy that some people simply aren’t wired for.
And that’s okay.
In fact, you need people who are going to over communicate.
You can have the hardest working employees, ones that you trust and that work great by themselves, but no matter how great of work they’re doing, if they can’t communicate to leadership and their teams, it’s not going to work out.
Particularly right now, with the scary & uncertain things that are happening in the world, empathy is more important than it’s ever been.
Nobody handles crisis the same way as anybody else. So to expect everybody to align to a particular way of handling something as huge as what we’re dealing with right now is a fool’s errand.
Empathy will drive you to not only design the best possible environment for end users, but it will most certainly turn you into a better human. Someone who is better able to relate to those around them and be an effective leader.
But beyond the personal benefits of empathy, it’s going to open up a whole new door for your design work.
Because it will allow you to better find the right problem. To more acutely diagnose the major pain point that your end user is dealing with and allow you drill in and laser focus on that particular issue.
The Power of Narrative
We all love stories.
It’s why when we were kids and we went camping, we’d sit around the campfire telling stories. Because as human beings we’re wired to connect with stories.
So why should product design be any different?
You’re not just designing a product, you’re crafting an experience for the end user. And your main focus should be to produce a DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE.
Because when someone has a delightful experience, they forget, or at least don’t focus on, the fact that they’re getting ready to open their wallets for that experience. It’s why Apple has such high customer retention.
You can buy a $100 laptop at Staples. But the experience of going into an Apple store and buying a MacBook and taking it home and pulling it out of the packaging? That’s a delightful experience. One that temporarily makes the customer not think about opening their wallet.
It comes down to making sure that you’re focused on HOW individuals connect to your application.
Now more than ever before, it’s crucial that you’re connecting with the human side of your workforce and your end users.
Because humanity is what we all need right now.
This post is based on a TechTables podcast with Randy Ellis. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to TechTables here.
PS: You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for anything related to the podcast and email@example.com if you are interested in learning more about Nagarro and our philosophy on #thinkingbreakthroughs.