The recent economic hurdles coupled with the rise in cyberthreats have had an impact on digital agencies across the board. Due to that concept, design, development, and distribution processes were changed in an unexpected way.
Digital products have emerged from the storm better than ever. Still, the bottom line gets affected when security isn’t adequately managed. Even the most secure VPN may not suffice for every step of the digital production process. Staying up-to-date on the latest innovative technologies while protecting data means businesses must invest in secure authentication and identity management services.
To get answers on what to do when presented with security challenges, we turned to Julian Pscheid, Co-Founder & COO/CTO at EMERGE, a digital product agency focused on improving digital product growth and impact.
Could you share the story of how Emerge evolved from a small digital product agency to what it is today? What were the pivotal moments in that journey?
Emerge began in the early 2000s as a digital strategy think tank. We soon found our footing as a Digital Agency. This distinguished us during a time when digital adaptation was not yet mainstream. Regardless, the mid-2010s brought a shift; digital became a standard. It was time for us to redefine our value proposition.
We returned to our roots as a digital product agency and UX design agency. We focused on product strategy and leveraging our design and delivery skills. In this way, we continued to stay ahead of the curve, innovating and delivering strategic solutions for our clients. Through all the changes, our commitment to providing top-notch digital solutions remained constant.
Emerge has created some exciting digital products over the years. Could you share the kind of challenges you typically assist product owners and managers with, and perhaps highlight a few standout projects?
At Emerge, we pride ourselves on partnering with B2B leaders in a product-focused capacity. Our team brings specialized product expertise and hands-on collaboration to the table. We've worked with a considerable number of product owners and managers. We help them overcome the challenges associated with developing and launching digital products that truly resonate with customers. It's a startling fact that 84% of digital products fail to meet expectations - that's where we come in. We facilitate alignment across strategy, design, and technology. All to ensure digital products deliver impactful customer experiences users love and appreciate.
A core part of what we offer is helping to improve product growth and impact. It's done by instilling clarity and focus. Both are necessary to drive positive outcomes. We work to unlock actionable insights that inform every stage of the product lifecycle. Additionally, we help to bridge the execution gap. We use a human-centered UX design, transforming how people interact with the digital products we help create. Moreover, we focus on developing these products with scalability in mind. The emphasis is on continuous delivery and improvement.
Lastly, we believe in unlocking team culture and performance to boost productivity and success. We strive to enhance team capabilities, capacities, and processes to foster maximum collaboration. Through these efforts, we align priorities to improve customer acquisition, adoption, and retention. This ensures the digital products we help develop are not simply created but are also indispensable to the customers they serve.
In your view, what do you see as the most significant opportunities for digital product owners in the current landscape? How can they leverage these opportunities to stay competitive and achieve exponential growth?
One of the most significant opportunities for product owners lies in the integration of innovative technologies such as AI, machine learning, and big data. Using these technologies helps to better understand user behavior, create more personalized experiences, and optimize product performance. They can provide actionable insights at every stage of the product life cycle, guiding strategy, design, and continuous improvement. Product owners can leverage these technologies to create indispensable digital products. Ones that exceed user expectations and stand out in an ever-increasing competitive market.
There's also an unprecedented opportunity to refine the human-centric design approach. Digital product owners can bridge the execution gap by prioritizing the user experience at every touchpoint. This approach involves creating intuitive, engaging, and seamless user experiences. Experiences that can transform user interaction and foster customer loyalty.
When considering business growth, a well-executed, user-focused design has a significant effect. It improves customer acquisition, adoption, and retention, thereby driving product growth and impact. This, combined with robust team culture and performance, can propel digital product owners toward exponential growth.
The recent global events have certainly impacted every industry. How have these events affected the digital product industry specifically, and what new challenges have arisen for Emerge? Can you share how you overcame them?
Recent global events, such as the rise in interest rates, have certainly left an impact on all sectors, including the tech sector. This economic shift has resulted in a slowdown in growth across the tech landscape. An immediate challenge was the financial constraint on many of our clients. It had a direct effect on their capacity to maintain full-scale internal teams for digital product design and development.
These challenges also presented unique opportunities. When our clients needed to scale down their internal teams, Emerge stepped in. We helped provide product leadership, ensuring the continuity of their digital product initiatives. We quickly adapted to this new demand, expanding our services to function as an extension of our client's team. Our specialized product expertise and hands-on, collaborative approach allowed us to provide strategic guidance.
We eased alignment across strategy, design, and technology. This kept the digital product development and improvement processes moving ahead. This approach ensured our clients' digital products continued to deliver impactful customer experiences. We achieved all this despite the changing economic landscape.
With technology changing at such a rapid pace, what strategies does Emerge use to stay on the cutting edge of digital product development and design?
Emerge sustains a competitive advantage in digital product development and design. We center our strategies around human-centered design (HCD) and user experience (UX) design. Our conviction is that success in product design hinges on placing the end-user at the core, which is why HCD is integral to our approach. Such a focus enables us to comprehend our users' needs, behaviors, and pain points. The creation of digital products that resonate and ensure a smooth, intuitive user experience is the goal.
Moreover, keeping pace with the latest trends in UX design is a matter of priority for us. Our team exhibits a steadfast commitment to ongoing learning and development within this field. We make strides to stay updated on the latest UX design methodologies, tools, and best practices. This commitment to continuous improvement, combined with our user-centric approach, positions us to design digital products that not only fulfill but also surpass user expectations.
With the rise in cyberthreats, what are the essential security measures you believe every digital product should have in place? Can you talk about how Emerge handles cybersecurity in your digital product design and development process?
At Emerge, cybersecurity is an intrinsic part of our digital product design and development process. We proactively use Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. We delegate the responsibilities of server maintenance and security to specialized teams. This strategy not only mitigates potential security threats but also enables us to concentrate on our core expertise in product strategy, design, and development.
Additionally, we use authentication services such as Auth0 and Google Cloud Platform to provide an additional security layer for identity management. We are dedicated to adhering to best practices in application design and development. That includes those outlined in the OWASP Top Ten, to avert common security risks. This adherence enables us to produce digital products that are not only innovative and user-friendly but also secure and reliable. In short, at Emerge, security is not a secondary consideration; it is a fundamental component of our design and development process.
As a leader in the digital product landscape, what future trends or innovations are you most excited about? How do you think these will shape the future of digital product development and design?
As a vanguard in the digital product realm, we're invigorated by the many impending trends and innovations. Prominent among these are the advances in the product design and development process. Particularly the advent of component libraries. Comprising reusable interface elements, these libraries augment the efficiency of product development. They guarantee a uniform, seamless user experience across varying platforms and devices.
We are also intrigued by the increasing adoption of agile processes in product design. These methods, prioritizing adaptability and user feedback, facilitate swifter iterations and more effective responses to changes. These methods yield digital products that are optimally equipped to meet user requirements and market trends.
Lastly, the concept of ecosystem design piques our interest. This comprehensive approach stresses the creation and management of products, services, and solutions that reconcile the demands of the environment with various organizations. Ecosystem design centers on sustainable growth and development, a theme highly relevant in today's global climate. We foresee these trends having a significant impact on the future of digital product development and design. It will propel the industry toward more efficient, user-centric, and sustainable practices.
Could you give us a sneak peek into what's next for Emerge? What new initiatives or projects can your clients look forward to?
Emerge is ready to embark on a thrilling new chapter. Consistent with our mission to impact lives via digital innovation, we're concentrating our efforts on developing product platforms intended to enrich the lives of over a million people. Designed around the needs and expectations of users, these platforms will use our human-centered design approach. This approach will help to craft solutions that resonate with users and make a difference in their lives.
Furthermore, we're dedicated to expanding the frontiers of UX innovation. There exist several industries where UX practices have not yet been wholly embraced or maximized. Our goal is to introduce contemporary UX principles into these sectors. It will lead to transforming their user engagement approach. By unveiling sophisticated, intuitive, and user-friendly interfaces, we aim to revolutionize the user experience across these industries.
This signifies a shift not merely in the quality of interfaces but also in the entire user journey. We are confident that these initiatives will engender transformative change, amplifying user satisfaction and generating notable business value for our clientele. In essence, at Emerge, we're endeavoring to create influential digital products that fuel growth, innovation, and positive transformation.