3 key takeaways from our SoDA Series Live event with Adobe Creative Cloud
On February 11th, DPDK had the privilege of joining Adobe Creative Cloud and SoDA for an in-depth discussion about creativity and digital trends. The virtual event was part of the SoDA’s Live Series, which offers viewers candid and meaningful discussions with digital agency leaders from around the world.
Our CEO, Pim van Helten, and Chief Creative Officer, Michael Vromans, talked about how client needs have changed over the past twenty years, how DPDK has adjusted itself to remote work, and which digital products and services we think will shape the future of the industry.
You can watch our experts in action by clicking the recording below.
If you don’t have time to watch the entire video, here are the three most important takeaways:
1. Maintaining a creative company culture is an iterative process (especially during a pandemic!)
Before Covid-19, we didn’t fully realize that working in an office and being around other people is a tangible benefit. But the truth is, you get a lot of stimulation and inspiration out of that. It’s something that is really difficult to replace in any remote setup, and we all have to recognize that this is a loss.
We use a number of collaboration tools like Slack to try to fill that void. We have a company-wide Slack channel specifically dedicated to inspiration, where our employees share anything that sparks their excitement or interest. We also share our tools with clients so they can contribute to our creative process.
What we also did was make clear what we do and do not expect from our employees. We gave employee well-being a central role in our work from home guidelines and shared all kinds of tips that can improve wellness. A lot of it is as simple as being flexible and showing your team that you're invested in their mental and physical health.
2. A holistic customer experience is the antidote to digital sameness
We’ve always been opposed to the “single touchpoint” mindset - the idea that all you need is a nice website and you're good to go. We find that it isn’t possible to say, “Let’s just work on this one island and not touch the other ones.” There’s too big of a connection between brands, their products, and the content that needs to populate them.
You can always tell the difference between a company that’s put a lot of thought and craft into the brand identity and one that hasn’t. If you start with the brand, it trickles down to the product. An integrated approach is the big differentiator.
We prioritize integrated digital experiences where you combine a unique brand with products and engaging content. Nowadays, almost no one only has a website. Companies also have a portal, or a web application, and are using different social channels. That all needs to be in conjunction with one another.
3. The ROI of design systems
We’ve been working with design systems for a long time and see them as an important part of the design process. Design systems create consistency, give you control over the brand experience, and improve your workflows. You can use them to achieve scale quickly.
At DPDK, we created an inclusive illustration design system that we use across all of our brand touchpoints. We illustrate everything according to a specific set of guidelines, and whenever we create a new illustration we add it back to the library. It’s easily accessible and connected to our brand design system, the product design system of our website, and our print materials.
One of the main challenges of design systems is their ROI, because it lies in the future. They perform well over time, but it's not self-evident right away. Eventually though, a design system will win you back time, money, and resources.