7 simple guiding principles for effective digital platforms

Whether your ambition is to engage audiences, showcase content, capture fans, drive commercial value (or all of the above) we want to share the guiding principles that have helped our clients reach their goals, and we think can help shape the success of any digital transformation programme.

1/ Sketch out your whole digital ecosystem, not just your website 

Of course, a new web platform can be key in marking the turning point in your digital journey. But to realise your ambitions, it’s essential to visualise your entire digital estate, devise your strategy across all channels and create the platform architecture vision that will support you in the immediate future and beyond.

2/ Build, buy, extend and blend technology solutions to create solid foundations 

We believe in the right tools for the right job and have a deep understanding of what that looks like for our key industries. Shout’s UX and software teams enjoy nothing more than to build and create, but understand that the best digital estates thrive on a blend of bespoke development, open standards, out-of-the-box solutions and common platforms. We work with clients to define where it is best to build, buy, extend or blend solutions, for now and for the future. 

3/ Create an experience that is useful, usable, enjoyable and accessible 

The experience users receive on their first visit to your platform will define whether theirs is a cursory interest, or can be transformed into longer-term loyalty. Providing meaningful mobile-first digital experiences for your audience, that are accessible, effortless to use and follow the highest standards of UX design, is essential to ensure they return time and time again.

4/ Iterate, involve audiences, and know that you will never be ‘done’ – create, test, learn and repeat 

User engagement is not only your goal, but will be fundamental in defining your vision. The goal is to truly understand potent current and potential audiences, and involve them in a ‘create, test, learn’ iterative process of ideation and creation.

5/ Consider how you will tell the right stories, to the right people, at the right time 

Competition for the attention of your audiences is high, so your website needs to carve its own clear, unique value proposition. Content and storytelling is at the heart of this, but to truly define what that looks like we help businesses build a research-based picture of what is likely to resonate most with your audiences. We test our assumptions from the earliest opportunity and our learning won’t stop at the point a new site goes live – in fact, that is where the real learning begins.

6/ Look within and beyond your industry for your inspiration 

Of course, understanding how your competitors achieve digital maturity is key. We are constantly scanning the horizons in our clients’ sectors to help them stay competitive and innovative within their marketplace.

But throw the net wide - other sectors are a rich source of inspiration. We can look to banking for use of Data & AI; manufacturing for robotic process automation; utilities for IoT and high fashion brands for luxury eCommerce. The breadth of knowledge inside the Shout team can help us position the businesses we work with as digital innovators.

7/ Make things measurable and aim to generate the data that drives the next stage of your journey 

Data drives intelligent digital experiences and commercial value. Set meaningful KPIs, consider the data you will need to measure them, and then take action based on what your data reveals. We can advise on the right data platform choices – both in the sense of approach and product – and moreover we can help you define where data not only measures goals, but where data is the goal. This can help foster more meaningful relationships with your users and stakeholders.

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