Originally launched in the mid-1990s as “Ask Jeeves,” by 2013 Ask.com had become one of the top ten sites in the world, with more than 200 million unique users and over $350 million in revenue. Sounds like a success story right? But look now and you’ll see that, while still large, Ask is shrinking. If you’ve encountered Ask, it’s most likely come via its browser toolbar. When the company made deals to bundle installation of the toolbar with popular software packages, it acquired users quickly even if surreptitiously. Today, the Ask.com toolbar is listed among the most hated pieces of software ever. Microsoft now labels it as malware, and the first page of Google search results about the toolbar all link to steps on how to remove it from your computer.

Technology is amazing and powerful. And as we’ve seen with Ask, it can even be lucrative. Creating custom software, mobile apps, and other custom solutions are exciting and fun for software engineers. Designers enjoy building beautiful, eye-catching interfaces. But, sometimes, there’s an element missing and some considerations can be forgotten along the way – the Humans that are actually going to be using the custom applications in the first place. This is one of the fundamental lessons of Ask. Software that isn’t built to serve people is never going to have the impact it could compare to custom software that amplifies its user’s humanity.

Approaching Custom Applications From A Different Perspective

At Mutually Human, we start with the people that will use our custom applications instead of the technology itself. This principle guides every project we do and every decision we make:

We don’t believe in technology for its own sake; we believe in technology for the sake of humanity. We think that all custom software should change the lives of its users for the better. 

We Care About What You Care About 

When creating a custom application for your business, we also value what YOU care about your business objectives – not just the technology we can create. That means we focus on:

  • Learning what your customers need and creating custom applications that will improve their lives as well as their experience with your company. 
  • Digging into the challenges your employees are currently facing and seeing how we can potentially solve those issues with custom software. 
  • Understanding what your goals are for your business both now and in the future and how we can partner with you to make those dreams a reality. 

We are Your Strategic Partners 

Creating custom applications and software should be a strategic partnership between the software creators and you. While we unquestionably enjoy creating quality custom solutions we’re always looking to do so in a way that helps improve your business, supports your team, and gives your customers a great experience. 

All of this boils down to our approach: Human-Centered Design. 

What is Human-Centered Design?

“It is a philosophy that empowers an individual or team to design products, services, systems, and experiences that address the core needs of those who experience a problem.” — Source

Simply making technology, software, or application suggestions doesn’t completely solve the problem your business or organization is facing. Understanding your goals, your users, and your team is essential to actually address the needs you currently have and fulfill them. 

Humans First, Technology Second

Specifically, people need their interactions with technologies and other complex systems to be simple, intuitive, and pleasurable. — Jon Kolko

None of this happens by chance though, and that’s why we have developed a 4-step process that leads to human-centered, custom application success. 

You can learn more about our approach or schedule a free consultation here. 

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