As brands look to compete on customer experience, MACH provides the technical infrastructure to enable fast deployment and growth at scale. A design-led approach bakes in customer-focus, performance, compliance, and scalability.

A MACH approach opens new opportunities for businesses to pick best-of-breed solutions, build for flexibility and scalability, and open the floodgates for unique, cross-channel customer experiences. But the long-awaited freedom from the constraints of rigid eCommerce templates can be intimidating. 

When businesses buy headless platforms for the first time, some struggle to know where to start. While templates have boxed businesses in for years, templates represent a starting point to guide experience design. Stakeholders across Business and Technology teams can choose to recreate existing experiences or leverage the opportunity to start fresh, redesigning their digital experiences from scratch. A business’s ability to choose the right path determines its success. 

We know design-led organizations outperform their competitors - a McKinsey study looked at 2 million pieces of financial data and 100,000+ design actions over five years. They found that design-led companies earn 32% more revenue and 56% higher total returns than other companies. 

Object Edge helps customers embrace MACH approaches and products, to be more design-led, and build a roadmap that delivers on customer satisfaction, brand promise, and business goals. 

Consider these steps:

  • Assemble the right team and talent for platforms and experience
  • Conduct customer research 
  • Build customer journey maps
  • Evaluate the current state of experiences
  • Create a product roadmap focused on high-value opportunities
  • Create a design system
  • Make governance part of Design, Content, Development, and Marketing operations

Customer Research and Journey Mapping

Start by conducting robust customer research and creating journey maps to understand how customers engage with your brand today. Journey maps should be driven by user behaviors and expectations, business demand, and market standards. This translates into meaningful data that can help you understand where you can improve discoverability (e.g. SEO, advertising, accessibility) before they get to your site. It can also reveal where you may be losing your users’ time and attention. For example, where can better services or solutions (e.g. improved search, quicker checkout, site accessibility) improve conversion?  

Find Designers Who Understand Technology

Designing with the entire experience in mind. MACH makes it easier to launch new channels, new products, and new experiences. So how do you design for today AND scale for growth?

Engage designers and agency partners who understand MACH tenants, the platform you own and the solutions that make up all the building blocks. Ask your design partners to avoid customizations that add expense, complexity, or performance issues, or slow overall time to market. Having a design team who is knowledgeable about design and technology best practices, and understands effective DesignOps and DevOps supports project success.

A Design System for MACH Growth

The MACH architecture allows you to launch quickly. However, with this increased speed to market, numerous different products and tooling involved, how do you build efficiently? How do you keep the experience seamless and consistent no matter how or where your users find you? 

To ensure a consistent, clean, and efficient design, we recommend translating your brand into a modular design system. A design system is a method of organizing and codifying text and design elements, breaking them into the smallest component parts, building modules, and creating pages based on those modules. 

A design system allows you to launch brand experiences across channels that are uniformly designed and meet market requirements for compliance, accessibility, performance, and UX best practices. With a codified design system, developers and designers can work seamlessly to create, build, test and deploy more efficiently,  lowering the total cost of ownership.  

More companies are embracing design systems — the principles, templates, and components (design and code) that guide a company’s design efforts — to drive a more cohesive experience across channels, power accessibility efforts, increase designer and developer efficiency, and unlock the other benefits. - Forrester

Plan for Governance

Design is no longer an exercise in aesthetics. Your design system works in service of the  business to drive customer engagement, acquisition, and retention. 

With a design system in place, you’ll need a structure for adoption and governance. It’s critical to have focused and strategic design ownership responsible not only for owning and managing the design standards, but also sharing them across teams (internal and external) to manage design. 

As the design system grows, it's critical to consistently drive compliance and adoption. Changes and enhancements must be tracked and communicated to the broader team. To ensure that your design system is supporting your design and efficiency goals, you’ll need to create workflows for creation, review, approval, and circulation.

Conclusion

As brands look to compete on customer experience, MACH provides the technical infrastructure to enable fast deployment and growth at scale. A design-led approach bakes in customer-focus, performance, compliance, and scalability. A well-governed, codified design system de-risks digital expansions by lowering design, testing and development costs, reducing liabilities (e.g. accessibility non-compliance, tech and design debt), and accelerating a brand’s overall time to market.

About the Author

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Sergio Ortiz

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Director of UX Labs

As the Director of UX Labs for Object Edge, Sergio brings a long, and diverse history of partnering with organizations of all sizes, types, and needs. Most recently, Sergio’s focus is in designing business strategies that bring digital content experiences to large audiences that intuitively resonate with end users and help brands expand market share and drive new business. 

The current landscape of digital products; whether wearables, voice activated devices, or traditional touch interfaces, means that his role in helping build user interfaces is much broader than ever before. A true believer in behavioral sciences, Sergio is a strong advocate for engaging with those who engage with your brand. It’s a strong balance of business need and audience demand where Sergio finds a hyper focused landing spot for brands to succeed.

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