Innovation Means Nothing if it’s Inaccessible to the End User

Published: Apr 25, 2023  |  

CTO at Walr & mathematician

Tech growth

Technology is defined as the application of scientific knowledge. It is not a static practice that seeks an end result and calls it quits. It is constantly evolving and increasing in its ambitions. 

However, it is the ability to take ideas of increasing complexity and distill them into something simple that distinguishes a true innovator. Look no further than AI to gauge the ambition of what’s being achieved. 

AI is making waves in every industry and taking over more than a few meager headlines for its ability to do big things in small ways. With each new AI advancement building on the last, and growing its scale and capabilities, opportunities are emerging in regard to generating automated, data-based insights from Autonomous AI agents to driverless cars. 

With these complex technologies growing firmer in the minds of users and closer to their grasp, it’s important not to lose sight of the end user’s experience. Streamlining processes for them is paramount. All of that innovation means nothing if it’s not accessible. 


Groundbreaking tech doesn’t have to say it’s spectacular to be impressive 

The most impressive innovations in tech are those that have distilled their complexities into something that, at face value, seems incredibly simple and fulfills a straightforward purpose for the everyday user. That’s where the genius lies. It’s also often where adoption and retention rates soar. Unsurprisingly, tech that integrates seamlessly into users’ patterns of behavior is the kind that makes life easier, or solves problems faced in the user’s regular routines.

Take cloud-based services as an example. They streamline access points into one, easy-to-navigate point: Microsoft ensures desktop apps work seamlessly against cloud services, for example; and here at Walr, we’re bringing everything into one platform.  

Walr’s tech is engineered to perform complex mathematical statistical analysis on large datasets in less than ten milliseconds. The latency must be real-time for Walr’s products to be what we call a Minimum Lovable Product. The user simply hovers over a question and the analysis appears. 

The backend to make this work is highly complex, involving several ETL pipelines, a scalable infrastructure running at low cost using micro services and in-memory vector storage. To the everyday user, this complexity is out of sight and out of mind— words like ETL pipeline and vector storage mean nothing and the speedy calculation is nothing more than a faceless, automated puppeteer hidden behind curtains. Yet the result is invaluable and the action so streamlined that it becomes as simple as a single hand/mouse gesture.  


Less is more 

The sage advice that less is often more remains a careful consideration. In a landscape of constantly evolving technologies and an improvement-focused mindset, the danger of over-engineering an innovation beyond the bounds of necessity or desirability is a prevalent concern. Re-centering focus to not think “what problem could you solve?” but rather, “what problem should you solve?” is more important than ever.  

The market research is clear, the conclusion is startlingly straightforward. We know the challenges that our clients face, and we know how to work with them to provide solutions that remain simple, accessible and digestible. It’s as fundamental design principles preach: Sowing the tenets of Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) into any new bed of innovation will likely reap more innovation wins than losses.

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