Technology promises to be the great connector — but that connection requires us to be intentional as we build our digital community, to serve society with purpose.
That’s what’s always inspired me about the internet: It’s accessible for all of us to create, consume and interact with ideas, and it’s only growing more accessible for more people every day.
But as we have seen, it can be easy for technology companies to think of us as users, rather than as people. To focus more on the bottom line than on the human touch. To put quantity of audience over quality of interaction.
“A better online world is connected to a better offline world. When we pose questions about how to build a better online world, in essence we are asking how to build a better material, physical and tangible offline world as well.”
-Yasmeen Ibrahim, professor of digital economy and culture and author of “Posthuman Capitalism: Dancing with Data in the Digital Economy, shared with Pew Research Center.
Who we are is inextricably linked to our digital experience
We’re living more and more of our lives on the internet, and in many ways, it’s a digital representation of who we are in real life — whether we’re commenting on a TikTok, curating our Instagram or updating Goodreads.
Every person, every brand and every institution has a digital footprint. Some, like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, have found a way to use that connection to their advantage. One look at the museum’s TikTok, and your cultural intake soars.
Through these simple moments, the Met truly goes global with its mission: to connect all people to creativity, knowledge, ideas and one another. The simplicity of TikTok helps the museum find new patrons it never would have found before, on their schedule, regardless of class or geography.
That’s why it’s critical that our digital world is accessible to — and inclusive for — everyone. The more we’re able to become our best, most grounded selves online, the more we can connect in meaningful ways.
[Read: Inclusive Design vs. Accessibility: Why You Should Design for Inclusion]
The health of our communities depends on transparency
When we’re able to cut through the noise and easily access quality information, it’s easier to help our communities flourish.
That’s the idea behind projects like the Fort Worth ISD 2021 Bond site that we built for our partner PROCEDEO. The site is a hub for taxpayers to get updates on how their dollars are being used to renovate aging schools. Seeing project details, including timelines and budgets, lets taxpayers and other stakeholders engage in a deeper, more nuanced way.
By building an easy-to-use digital resource like this one, we eliminated barriers and helped PROCEDEO connect with the public to stay informed and better plan out the future of our communities.
It’s a simple solution that uses technology as a tool for the greater good rather than letting it be an obstacle to transparency.
[Read: Our Boston’s Pizza Project Proves an Accessible Website Can Be Beautiful, Too]
“When I approach that sales process, it’s a lot different from any other businesses that I’ve encountered because it really does start with humanity. I want to get to know that individual – I want to get to understand what their problems and their pain points are.”
-Lifeblue Client Growth Strategist Phillip Barnhard.
The process of digital creation is as important as the product
Technology isn’t just about the final product; it’s about how we interact with one another to build it. At Lifeblue, that starts with our first conversation.
Empathy guides us as a company and as technologists. When we build a digital experience with our clients, we seek to understand their hopes and feelings, as well as the hopes and feelings of their intended audience.
Throughout every step of a partner relationship, we strive for this approach because we believe that by centering on people, society benefits — and that’s the kind of impact we aim to deliver.
Jonny Pacheco recently returned to Lifeblue to serve as our first-ever Director of Production Services after a stint at Google.