If you think (maybe even hope) that we are the next hip creative agency... you can stop reading right here.
We are not hip. Anyway, being hip is out. Because being hip doesn't benefit ambitious designers and developers, and it doesn't make the users out there happy or solve their problems. Being hip doesn't even increase the success of digital business models. The only hip thing that's really cool is the one with the hop - but that's something everyone can decide and evaluate for themselves.
For the sake of formality, it should be said here that being hip does not necessarily have anything to do with creativity. It's more about the attitude of a now outdated description of designers. Because you can never be without creativity, not even at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Fortunately, being creative is no longer the exclusive territory of all designers for which you need a special pass. And let's get down to brass tacks: what's still special about it? Nothing! Nada! Niente! And that's a good thing. Because creativity today is something taken for granted and has nothing to do with any roles, titles or jobs. So if we treat it (yes, still creativity) less exclusively in everyday life, the more each individual is able to get involved and work with colleagues on sustainable solutions, always pushing themselves and their own limits. Motivation á la Tough Mudder 2022 only in digital - collectively, collaboratively. Positive side effect: people automatically share responsibility and stand up for each other! That is what represents our real value today. We don't just live this among colleagues at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...we also involve our clients directly, right from the start, and guess what: they love it! But more about that in a moment.
But first, let's get back to creativity: of course we can also develop incredibly beautiful, super-awesome designs that could win lots of prizes and be nailed to the wall or anywhere else...by the way, our office could surely use some decoration on the walls...but who cares? Designers in tech companies like us are certainly less likely to do so. Designers and developers have to understand and fulfil their roles very differently nowadays. The job description of the common designer has become much more technical. UX and UI are the predominant terms in our world. These two fields alone are complex enough in terms of content and therefore something completely different from the work of designers in said creative agencies. The success of our clients and the sustainable operation of their business models depends on very important factors that sound very simple when viewed soberly: the anticipation of user expectations and decisions and, an unconditional building of design systems. And hey, our designers and developers are the ones who want to take responsibility for the user interfaces (or websites, as some would say) and are perfecting them down to the last detail. It's about quality and measurability instead of arbitrariness and taste!
Of course, it's about "good" user experiences in which everyone can find their way around intuitively at first sight and, best of all, generate sales quickly and easily.
This is now part of our everyday lives. But the constant optimisation of self-services is also part of it - because not at least these can be the big cost drivers on the provider side. And it is not about saving staff, but rather about creating new spaces for the employees who really want to guarantee personal customer care. Everything else doesn't scale either, by the way, but that's just a brief digression. So where were we? Ensuring "good" user experiences on the one hand and operating the whole thing with advanced front-end technology on the other. Performance, accessibility, cross-device usage and maximum maintainability are just a few of the relevant criteria for sustainable user interfaces and frontends. But here, too, it should be said: this is really nothing new in the industry and should be guaranteed per se by every company that calls itself a tech company.
And is that enough for a good customer relationship? With shared beer (optionally non-alcoholic) after a successful GoLive and so on? No, not for us any more. A good, trusting cooperation is indeed a multi-layered task that brings many and at the same time beautiful challenges, but of course it depends on people (and not, as many think, on a detailed requirements documentation)! Sympathy, empathy, competence, trust, respect, credibility, ambition, error culture and much more - we sign immediately, are set! So it just takes cool people who are good at what they do? Not only.
So what's different about Whiskey Tango Foxtrot compared to other tech companies? Probably not much at first glance, but it's what's distinct that makes it valuable and so desirable. The principle sounds simple: it's all about involving customers, developing together and experiencing sweat and fun together. Involving them in all processes right from the start and letting them participate, not just reading the requirements, but listening to the ideas. And to do this every day, as a team, as those responsible, as colleagues. Coordinating and exchanging ideas every day, sometimes letting your trousers down, being as transparent as possible and working together. To show clients how development has changed, how designers have changed and how there is a derivation and idea behind every concept, every journey, every component, every visual (sometimes just a best practice). So giving and taking insight into the state of design and development - instantly! Working together from anywhere and at any time on a file, on a solution and ultimately on joint success. The tools are there, we can do it remotely. Let's try!
PS: Soon we'll continue here with the question of why the combination of brand development, marketing know-how and UX/UI design at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is not only a benefit, but almost a USP. So stay tuned!