Why user experience is a top criteria for Digital Asset Management

Oct 07, 2020

During the 30-year existence of Lytho and its predecessors, we’ve seen (and been a part of) a lot of change management projects. And we’ve seen a lot of them fail. McKinsey estimates that around 70% of large projects fail. This fact has inspired us to create a solution that has minimal risk of failing. Read on to find out how Lytho’s priority and commitment to user experience has been key to jumping over the pitfalls of reaching your strategic goals.

When we were roadmapping to create the smoothest possible digital asset management system (DAM), we first needed to dig into why change management is so tough. We learned that big projects fail for a variety of reasons, one of the top ones being lack of commitment and training for the core users and other stakeholders. It’s a shame that lasting change is so difficult to implement since it requires so much resources but, on the other hand, it’s easy to understand why projects fail.

Why is change so hard?

People are naturally resistant to change because it requires changing habits and doing things in a new way. We fall back into our bad habits even when we know the benefits of change. For example, I know that eating a burger for lunch is not good for my health but when Friday rolls around, I will act against my better judgement 🍔. Marketers who implement a new digital asset management system usually know that it has the potential to revolutionize the way content is stored and used but still leave assets and brand guidelines scattered everywhere if the system is not convenient and intuitive.

The impact of user experience

And that’s how we knew Lytho had to be designed for the ultimate user experience and functionality. Some (especially older, more dated software vendors) argue that a complex and difficult system is only that in the beginning and with a bit of practice the user experience improves. We studied the impact that user interface and experience have on the adoption rates of a software at different life cycle stages:

Implementation phase: The rule of thumb here is that if the solution is really user-friendly, the implementation should be easy as well. While all strategic projects are complex, you should always be able to get the support you need and implement a system that works for all users. Your key users, like marketers, designers and brand managers, will not adopt your new DAM if working in the system is too difficult for them. It will also take longer for you to start seeing results and get a positive ROI if the implementation is slowed down by multiple necessary training sessions because the software is so complex.

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Scaling phase: After the core users have started using your DAM, it’s time to roll it out to more teams and external partners like resellers. This is the true test for your DAM. Among these users will be people who are not tech-savvy and who are not interested in brand consistency. They care about getting their job done. If using a DAM is difficult, requires reading a complicated user manual, or adds steps to their work, they will not use it.

Stable phase: The biggest hurdle, scaling, is now behind you but that doesn’t guarantee long-term success. If you have any turnover or if you are growing in terms of employee or partner count, it’s still crucial that your staff enjoy using a DAM because the user base will change from time to time.

What exactly is a user-friendly DAM?

What is and isn’t a UX optimized system depends on the users, of course. The users of a digital asset management system have vastly different skill sets and interests. From IT managers to sales development representatives, everyone who uses your brand assets should get them from a DAM system. Using a central source for all digital assets throughout the company is core to achieving brand consistency.

When Lytho’s DAM was designed and built, we optimized intuitiveness and efficiency without sacrificing advanced technical features. These are some of the aspects you should consider when trying to score your DAM partner for user experience:

Taxonomy. Taxonomy is the way your DAM organizes your data (digital assets). Most DAMs use the old-fashioned folder structure which is not the most efficient, or intuitive way of storing your content. Think about it, when you go to Google or Pinterest you don’t open a folder and start eyeing different categories hoping to find the content you are looking for. That’s why you should opt for a more modern taxonomy.

Interface. Many DAMs were built over a decade ago, which is why they have an early 2000s retro look about them. While it can be endearing to hop on down the memory lane to reminisce what using the World Wide Web was like back in the day, you really need a DAM that has a UI to match the modern workforce.

Translations/language support. If you are a globally operating company, have several official languages or market and sell your product or service in more than one country, you need a DAM that supports translations and multiple languages.

Multi language support seemed quite difficult for most DAM vendors. Lytho already supported the languages we were using and that made the selection much easier.
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AI assistance. AI helps automate and predict tasks that are often mundane and take a lot of time day-by-day. Make sure that your preferred DAM partner has skills in building AI-driven functionalities so your users can get off easier. Lytho, for example, has many AI functionalities. One of them is auto tagging, which ensures that when new assets are uploaded, they are correctly tagged for optimal findability. One thing less for your users to worry about.

Advanced search. How do your users find your assets? If you are at a phase where you’re getting demos from different solutions, pay extra attention to the search capabilities of DAMs. With Lytho, you can look up images or videos by name or size, of course, but also by the exact shade of a certain color, ratio, file format, campaign, and so on.

Open API. An advanced DAM is not just a tool on its own, it should also integrate with your way of working and mould into your larger strategy. That’s why you need a DAM that works together with other software that is important to you. Lytho's generic API gives developers the opportunity to create integrations with other applications.

In conclusion, while there are many things you should keep in mind when assessing which DAM is the best fit for your needs, don’t forget the user experience. It may be more important than you realize for the overall success of your DAM project. If you’d like to see how Lytho’s DAM works and what it can do for you, have a chat with our solution specialists. They are happy to help you forward on your DAM journey.


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