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In with the New: How to Integrate New Tools with Existing Workflows

Businesses invest heavily in the research and implementation of processes and procedures that facilitate high levels of productivity. These finely tuned processes are fragile, and even the most minor of changes has the potential to cause a sharp drop in productivity.

The introduction of a new tool is a prime example of a change that, done improperly, could derail staff and cause workflows to unravel, which is why the design and application of the system must be carefully considered, especially in the context of the current workflows in place.

In this blog post, we will investigate the important issues developers need to take into account when designing a new tool to integrate with a client’s existing workflows.

Facilitating Similar Processes

The implementation of a new tool doesn’t necessarily mean alterations to existing workflows are necessary. If the client’s reason for choosing an upgrade is an issue with the existing tool, not the processes, then the developer’s aim should be to ensure a seamless integration of the new tool with existing workflows.

To achieve this, it is crucial that the developer has a full, in-depth understanding of how their client and the existing tool currently operate. Additionally, holding discussions with the client and the staff or customers who use the current tool will offer an insight into how effectively it collaborates with their day-to-day usage.

This information can then be collated and referred to regularly throughout the design to ensure the product remains on track.

Matching the Brand Guidelines

Brand is everything for a business. As a result, many companies produce a series of guidelines for their brand. One of these documents will refer to the design of any item, either physical or digital, that carries their logo or company name.

As the developer of the new tool, it is your responsibility to ensure that these guidelines are followed, unless the client gives you specific instructions to work outside of them. When it comes to design, the primary focus will be the tool’s interface, although any branding used across the product must closely follow the guidelines.

Making the Tool Accessible

The Equality Act 2010 ensures that businesses do not discriminate against any employee or potential employee and covers the legislation previously enforced by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Under these laws, all businesses are required to consider how accessible their workplaces and workflows are to people with disabilities.

This has led to the creation of accessibility guidelines which, if the client has them place, must be followed by developers. Although challenging, making sure that the new tool abides by accessibility guidelines is crucial to ensuring your client does not contravene these parliamentary acts and find themselves in legal trouble.

Integrating a Tool for the BBC

Isotoma recently worked with the BBC on a project to redevelop and refresh their graphic production tool. To avoid disruption and allow journalists to still meet their tight deadlines, it was important that the new tool integrated seamlessly with existing workflows.

The new tool was designed to operate faultlessly with the existing tools that BBC journalists use everyday, the most important of which was the web CMS. Additionally, we had to ensure that the tool was developed in line with BBC’s design and accessibility guidelines. Fortunately, we were already familiar with these guidelines from our previous project with the organisations R&D department.

Looking for a Tool That Fits into Your Workflows?

The team at Isotoma are vastly experienced in the design and development of products that work seamlessly with the processes and documentation our clients currently have in place.

If you would like to discuss your product requirements and find out how Isotoma can help, get in touch with our team today.