Insights

2021

Trends from 2020 transformed into insights for 2021

2020 was a turbulent year by all standards. We were taken by surprise and forced to live and work in ways we could never anticipate. There was a global pandemic, economic turmoil, natural disasters, and as a result, life as we know it is changed forever.

But we must push forward.

We must do it together.

We must take what we've learned and make things better.

TREND

DIGITAL DIFFERENTIATION

CustomerExpHero

CX will be a strong differentiator in the post-pandemic world.

Almost every CEO report available lists Customer Experience as one of the top priorities, and it's even more important to the customers themselves.

Product teams in companies of all shapes and sizes are aware, but to this point, it’s been mostly lip service. As soon as the delivery of a new feature falls behind, or a bug is discovered, or someone’s pet project comes out of nowhere, customer experience initiatives are the first to go.

In 2021 it’s going to be the responsibility of product and design to make sure CX initiatives remain a top priority. Here is some advice that can help prepare you to fight the good fight.

+Insights

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Justin Kime

The biggest challenge to prioritizing the customer experience is getting all of the teams on the same page.

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Michael Manross

Why other initiatives are prioritized higher than CX when the rubber meets the road in many companies.

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Jason Fried

Clustering requests from different sources will produce themes that can be used to identify and prioritize CX initiatives.

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Jeff Gothelf

Leveraging CX to differentiate your company from competitors who offer identical services to yours.

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Jackie Colburn

A framework to help identify the customer initiatives that have a high degree of certainty and are low effort to build.

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Forrester

Customers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.

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TREND

CLOSING THE DESIGN/DEV GAP

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The gap is closing and the teams that figure it out will win big.

So many companies are still struggling to bridge the gap between their design and development teams. The gap is almost always a communication gap, and it's fixable.

A communication gap that can take on many different forms. Language, process, tools, or in many cases just a missed opportunity to sit down and talk things through. When a healthy relationship does exist between these two teams, the reward is substantial.

It may seem like two different worlds, but it’s not. It’s one, and it can be done. Here’s some practical advice to help you bridge the gap.

+Insights

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Jon Arnold

How to better engage your development team and get the most out of your design system at scale.

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Gavin Gregory

Bringing developers into the design process as early as possible can help avoid rework down the road.

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Aaron Lerch

How strong design/development relationships enable more successful interactions and outcomes.

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Alex Billingsley

Designers and developers must agree on a common language that starts with the obvious thing to create alignment.

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Kenn Pascascio

How having clearly defined user personas creates invaluable alignment between the design and dev teams.

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Clancy Slack, Figma

Having a relevant design system can increase product design productivity substantially.

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TREND

INWARD CX

Designers

Take care of your people and they will take care of your customers.

Companies have started putting their people first. It starts with attracting the right people and then putting them in a position to succeed. Build a culture where they can grow, and the impact of their work is tangible and recognized. Today's product designers end up being both craftsmen of the design trade and experts in how your business works.

They end up being one of the most valuable keepers of institutional knowledge, and they are in high-demand. Keeping them is critical to surviving and thriving in the age of experience. Here are some thoughts on how to do it.

+Insights

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Jen Burkus

The top 3 tips on how to find the right people and then keep them around for the long-term.

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Jason Fried

Some of the main reasons why people leave a company and why many times it's ok.

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Brittni Bowering

The most important qualities of a good leader  based on an analysis of good and bad leaders from the past.

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Adam Yale

A dive into the reality of how 2020 has changed the way in which product designer work forever.

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John Zeratsky

Taking care of people by empowering them with better tools, processes, and frameworks for doing work that matters.

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AIGA Design Census

The drop-off rate for full-time employees working in-house or at an agency is around the four-year mark.