Digital-First Design

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Chapter 01 — Edit your journey so people come first

If you are an entrepreneur or working in the creative space, you might have asked yourself at least one of the following questions: How can we improve my team’s productivity? How can we increase employees’ engagement with our brand and projects? How do we make them really know how important they are to our business endeavors? And how can all this lead to better user experience of the websites we produce?

As a small, 12 year-old, French-Canadian agency of 25 people, we’re not going to pretend to have all the answers. But from our humble perspective and experience, we want to share with you how Locomotive creates meaningful environments, which actually answers some of those questions, while also bringing up new ones.

I want to specify that in this sense, the word environment refers to two things: the actual environment at our agency where our people work, and the digital environment, code, where our ideas are put to the test.

But first, let’s backtrack. The link between employee experience and user experience is a trending topic these days, and the subject of some great articles and talks . For example, in his LinkedIn article, Jose Morales Mendizabal explained how he took his experiences as a UX designer into employee experience design. Turns out, both those environments share a lot of the same stuff! From our perspective at the agency, we’ve realized that many of the same principles we use to put our people first in the workplace are the same ones we use when designing our best user experiences.

Think about it. When you’re designing, you’re putting the user first. When you’re building a team you’re putting the employees first. As the saying goes, you’re putting your people first. That’s what we think.

Taking this comparison a step further, as a UX designer, you try to put yourself in the place of the users and anticipate their needs and the problems they might face. As a team leader, you focus on the individual, learn about her or him and try to give the best experience possible.

When you’re being efficient in this context, we don’t feel that you risk losing your focus on people, either. Actually, your people become your main priority because taking care of them is what’s most important. Everything else comes after that.

So, the takeaway here is: edit your journey so the environments in which you work and play are focused on your people, before everything else.

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