Shaping the Ether

2 mars 2018

My background is as a developer. I come from a technical perspective on digital transformation. But as years and projects went by, I gradually realised that digital transformation has very little to do with technology and almost everything to do with understanding each other as human beings.

Unlike traditional advertising or communication, digital enables interaction. And that turns everything upside down, or rather — it finally turns everything right. As digital designers and developers, we are not creating billboards. We are shaping the very ether that transfers intent and meaning from one human to another — visually, audibly and tangibly. Therefore, we are obliged to get to know the workings of the human mind. For technical reasons, political reasons and ethical reasons.

As it turns out, digital transformation does not only imply learning human behaviour for the sake of designing usable and ethical digital products, but even the nature of running digital projects or working digitally means that all of us in a team need to be very empathic towards each other and our users to create genuine and meaningful user experiences.

The digital agency and its client shouldn’t consider themselves as companies working together, we shouldn’t even look at our users as merely users, but constantly remind ourselves that we are human beings collaborating in order to enable voluntary and meaningful interaction with and between fellow human beings.

This article is part of a series of more or less unfinished thoughts on digital transformation and team management, a collection of insights from my fifteen years as a team leader at the digital agency SthlmConnection. Originally posted on Medium.

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