May 2020 AmCham Digitalization Forum: Top Tasks & the Pandemic – Digital Customer Experience

In the virtual May installment of the AmCham Digitalization Forum, guest presenter Gerry McGovern, developer of the Top Task design framework and a board member of the US-based parent company of AmCham member Task Analytics, shared his experience working with companies such as Microsoft and Toyota to improve digital customer experience – work that has also seen McGovern work with the WHO and governments on their digital COVID-19 resources.

McGovern highlighted that it has never been more important to get back to digital customer experience basics by focusing on clarity and taking time to establish what truly matters to your target audience(s). For many organizations, that means dropping unnecessary design elements by embracing a back to basics, customer-centric approach.

One of the largest challenges McGovern has faced in his career is the growing tendency to measure the success of websites and digital platforms by appearance rather than functionality. Organizations, McGovern argued, need to get their ego out of the way and focus on giving users/customers what they want – the most pressing information or task they wish to accomplish. While this may lead to “aesthetically boring” design, McGovern statistically demonstrated that companies better engage target audiences when they cut out useless imagery, eliminate irrelevant “ego-stroking” icons, and employ simple, direct language. In other words, what you hide in an icon or hamburger menu will not be used, so it is critical to make visible what your customer will need to use the most.

“Great digitalization means organizations getting out of their own way and giving people what they need.”
Gerry Mcgovern
May 2020 AmCham Digitalization Forum

McGovern then discussed his evidence-based, test-driven approach to information architecture design. The approach, which often involves large global samples, allows designers to discern what matters most – and then translate those insights into highly functional design. A critical part of the process, McGovern added, is senior management. These managers must “bite the bullet” and facilitate the process of making their digital environments easier to navigate. The importance of this transition became even more clear in the wake of COVID-19. As companies, organizations, and governments scrambled to adapt to an even more digital working world, those who transitioned most successfully were those who managed to effectively communicate with target audiences and employees alike on digital platforms.

“The worst way to design a website is to put five smart people in a room with lattes. The longer you leave them in the room, the worse the website will become.”

Gerry McGovern

McGovern’s clear and concise presentation, described as “one of the best and most precisely communicated webinars I’ve heard in a long time,” by one participant, was followed by a Q&A session moderated by NextStep’s Jennifer Vessels. Leaders joined from across the Nordics, including AmCham Norway members Selmer, MSD, Crawford & Co., Fast Solutions, 24SevenOffice, Equinor, Tailormade Consulting, Janssen, Avollon, and Azets, amongst many others.

AmCham Digitalization Forum

AmCham Norway’s Digitalization Forum was initiated in 2016 in response to AmCham member company leaders’ need to better understand digital business environment challenges and opportunities. The series aims to foster confidence, inspire collaboration, and promote cross-industry dialogue.

Please contact us for interest in future forums.