Humanizing the Digital Experience As we say often, Bitwise Industries is about humans. Our human experience, our human reaction, and our human journey. We make it a priority to feed that focus into the custom software we develop, making sure the products we create are tailored to react and function in a more helpful, natural manner—improving the overall user experience. After more than a year of remote video calls, mobile grocery ordering, and mobile meal delivery, users are craving digital experiences that feel more human and less, well, digital. The human element is especially critical in online or mobile experiences that require mandatory digital interaction through every point of communication, such as educational institutions. In this piece, we’re going to discuss how applying human attributes to software can be beneficial, especially in the Education Technology space. Education Technology For the average college student, every step of the engagement process typically involves an online platform—applying for admission, registering for classes, attending the courses, testing, assignment submission, and the use of online portals to access grades and progress reports. Creating a more personal, human experience throughout this process to foster a more positive digital journey could benefit the student user community greatly. According to Education Data, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 saw an increase of enrollment at primarily online institutions, with a 7% increase, compared to 5% in Spring 2020. Meaning more students will be immersed in their online digital experiences as the year progresses. Let’s explore a few ways how software and the user communities at large could benefit from software that feels more human. Thoughtful Software Your first question might be So, how do you make a digital experience feel more human if it is in fact, only software? Good question. What we’re referring to is the ability for software to be thoughtful in it’s functionality and user experience. When humans are thoughtful, they’re helpful and selfless; they provide advice and pointed guidance when trying to assist you. Software shouldn’t be any different. Users want a platform or mobile experience that is helpful, gives intentional guidance, and fulfills its purpose. Whether the app is trying to help users register for classes or submit grades, that experience should feel organic and seamless. Thoughtful. Versatile Software Many of us know and work with humans who are incredibly versatile. These folks are capable of handling any situation; they’re adaptable, strong, and resilient—and can pivot quickly when asked to change course. These human attributes could be applied to software as well. Mobile applications or online platforms should be adaptable and strong, ready to pivot if necessary. They should be reliable and resilient, and most importantly secure. Versatile software should be ready for any scenario, so users can depend on it and trust it to be working and functional. In the Education Technology space, many students are accessing their platforms at once; so systems need to be adaptable, strong, and scalable. Versatility fosters trust; when trust is lost, so is confidence in that product (which could reflect poorly on the institution). Beautiful Software Beautiful humans aren’t just aesthetically pleasing outwardly, they’re beautiful on the inside as well—and they create beauty all around them, fostering joy and cheer. Similarly, beautiful software design evokes the same feeling of joy and comfort. When users experience beautiful software design, they want to spend more time using it and telling more people about it. Humans’ strongest sense is their vision. We are 90 percent visual creatures by nature, so design aesthetics are monumental. Beautifully designed software feels like it was crafted and built just for you. It’s user friendly and incredibly perceptive, with a digital journey that feels tailored just for your experience. Finding the balance between aesthetics and function is not easy, especially in large-scale enterprise software—but it is absolutely possible. And if colleges and universities were to find that balance, that beautifully designed software could add one more element of joy to students’ digital experiences. Humanity in a Digital World At the core of what we do, we architect and develop custom software that makes the world a better place. We wouldn’t be masters of our craft if we didn’t question the ways in which we can improve on how we design, engineer, and develop software to be better. After more than a year of forced digital and mobile experiences due to the pandemic, we’re ready to help business owners create online experiences that feel personal, beautiful, easy to use, and helpful. We’re Humans and We Can Help If you’re a product officer or business owner interested in having custom technology built for organization, it wouldn’t hurt to introduce a bit of humanity into your vision at the very beginning of your ideation process. We can help you with that planning. Schedule a chat with us using this link. We speak business and technology, so we can help you plan and build. This post was written by Celeste A. Barron, Content Development Manager at Bitwise Industries. She sometimes drinks Italian sparkling mineral water, but she still has love for the streets.