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Digital transformation is ‘alienating’ consumers

Digital transformation

Digital transformation by business and industry is leaving consumers frustrated by the rush to ‘improve’ products and services.

Digital transformation is failing in key areas due to lack of adequate planning to determine whether users actually want or need further transformation.

An independent survey by Studio Graphene found that 60 per cent of respondents feel businesses do not think enough about their users when developing new tech; that 55 per cent think businesses over-hype their tech without actually offering anything new or innovative. The survey also found that less than half of young people (46 per cent) were excited about the next generation of digital innovation.

Most UK adults surveyed feel businesses are too eager to digitise their offering, without proper thought for whether users can adapt; believe too much technology is developed without any proper thought for how it will be used and that new tech products are over-hyped and rarely offer something innovative or new.

Businesses are failing to strike the right balance between innovation and user experience, according to the new research

The digital agency commissioned an independent survey of 2,000 UK adults. It found the majority feel that businesses are too eager to move to new digital platforms without properly considering whether users will be able to adapt to the new system.

Three in five (60 per cent) believe technology is developed without due thought as to how it will be used, while 55 per cent think businesses are guilty of hyping up new technology products, which improve only modestly on what is already on the market.

Studio Graphene’s research highlights a clear preference among consumers for simplicity and clarity when engaging with tech, over enhanced functionality in the platform or service. Most (54 per cent) of UK adults said they would rather use a less advanced platform that had been designed well – rising to 61 per cent among over-55s.

New tech platforms and products are themselves struggling to leave a mark on UK consumers, with just one in three (34 per cent) looking forward to the next generation of innovations – rising to only 46 per cent among 18- to 34-year-olds.

Ritam Ghandi, founder and director of Studio Graphene, said: “Supercharged by the pandemic, the pace of tech innovation in recent years has been remarkable. But, amidst all the ‘digital transformation’, it’s worth pausing to consider whether consumers are along for the ride.

“Our research shows fatigue is setting in. While many businesses are evidently guilty of over-hyping their new tech, many consumers are being left underwhelmed. By and large, people want tech that’s simple-to-use and easy-to-understand. And this is a timely reminder for businesses; as tech becomes more advanced, the skill lies in creating compelling solutions whose beauty lies in their simplicity and the value they add, rather than immense functionality that ruins the user experience.

“No one is putting the brakes on innovation – we just need to ensure it is headed in the right direction. So, as we speed towards Web3 and the Metaverse, now is the time to emphasise how smarter design facilitates great experiences and keeps the user coming back for more.”

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