I’m writing this blog on the train to London. Departing Bristol Parkway arriving London Paddington around 1pm. I’m honoured to have been invited to attend a Royal Reception for the U.K. Technology Industry hosted my Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh to recognise and celebrate the growing contribution of the technology sector to the U.K. economy and the country’s proud tradition of innovation.
It has come as no surprise to me that this sector has been thriving during the recession and now looks to make even greater contributions as we turn the economic corner. I have been in the creative and technology sectors for twenty years, since I was just sixteen, when I began my apprenticeship at a design agency in my home town of Cheltenham. I remember joking with colleagues back then that one day desktop publishing of catalogues and brochures will be automated by technology – my colleagues laughed and said they’d be long gone from this earth by the time that happened. Unsurprisingly some years later I’m now working with a company that does just that – automating manual sales and marketing campaigns via various online channels – and using technology to streamline processes.
We don’t look at what we do as design or code. We position and present ourselves as problem solvers. In a basic form a lot of what we solve is about communicating information more effectively and concisely, whilst making it more accessible. Since merging my original design business with Newicon, an innovative design led software house, we’ve helped clients such as a charter airline replace print based direct mail with automated email marketing and mobile dedicated sites to sell empty flights. We’ve also helped streamline Airbus’ test assembly software and created innovative iPhone app prototypes that reduce manual checks during routine flight maintenance. All of these projects and others have applied design and technology to great effect by making information more useful and accessible. Our charter airline client will certainly agree – they reported a 3,000% return on investment in the first 18 months alone, in addition their environmental footprint has been greatly reduced too.
In our own business we often start out with spreadsheets and whiteboards before we dive into creating our systems and products. It’s impossible to build the perfect system until you have experimented with different processes to decide which ones work best. It’s only then that you can build truly great applications. But it’s important to remember that no website or system is ever finished, they are always evolving as business and process must continuously improve. A system can act as a great way to standardise a best practise before improving again, and they also prevent improvements from slipping backwards.
Well, that was good timing as my trains just arrived at London Paddington. I’m looking forward to meeting the Royal family and my peers tonight. But before all that, I had better shine my shoes and brush up on my royal etiquette!
You can follow tonights events and subsequent conversations on Twitter using #TechAtPalace
If you’re interested in working with Newicon on your next digital project, get in touch now.