Tools and Technology

When it comes to tools and technology there are some universal skills that can increase your impact and drive greater outcomes, but there’s also a constant stream of new features and limitations to understand, this section of the Field Guide seeks to make both of these quickly accessible to you.

Improve your impact.

Develop these three elements to improve your impact regardless of the platforms you’re engaging through.

Audio

Be heard with clarity by mastering these tips to improve the quality of your audio.

Video

Be seen and noticed by mastering these tips to improve the quality of your image.

Desk

Set up your space to maximise your energy and increase your presence in engagments.

Three factors to guide your tool selection.

When designing your digital engagements you’ll have to make some decisions about the tools and technologies you’ll be using.

While many people have begun to embrace digital tools, it is important that design teams have an understanding of how familiar the participants are with the tools and their features and limitations.

As you embark on the selection of your tools consider the natural tension between functionality, usability and security, before you commit. Let’s break each of these down.

What functionality do we need in order to achieve the outcomes?

As you design your engagement experience you’ll be reflecting on the work or the exchange of information that you are aiming to achieve, functionality brings this into the means for this work or exchange.

If you’re in the ‘ask’ type of engagement the exchange will likely be straightforward and can be achieved by using survey tools such as Typeform or SurveyMonkey, or perhaps slightly more nuanced such as dialogue sentiment analysis such as MAP uses when assessing the dynamics of teams.

But when you move into the ‘discuss’ type of engagement where collaboration and co-creation is key your decisions will require more thought about the right tool for the job.

It is useful for facilitators and design teams to be aware of updates, new features and any limitations of the tools of choice so that they can support participants and ensure the chosen tools enhance the experience rather than derail it with tech support needs.

How easy will it be for our audience to engage in this way?

If the majority of your audience is already using a particular tool that will do what you need, it’s a very strong reason to limit your options to what is already familiar.

Conversely, when you decide to introduce something new you’ll want to make sure it delivers genuine and additional value.

Whenever you introduce a tool that might be new to some or all of your audience, you’ll need to address the onboarding experience, which will naturally require more upfront time investment from all – make this decision wisely.

Does this meet the security requirements for this information?

Security is a tricky one as it often creates barriers to usability but when you’re working with information that is sensitive to your organisation and/or the audience you are engaging with then this must be considered.

Equally, if making small changes to the information being shared can significantly reduce the security concerns then this could make a positive difference for the experience.

The software landscape.

Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of some of the most prominent tools in the market to both help you gain confidence in using them and in guiding your participants through the experience.

Rather than group these by the specific tools we’ve taken a needs-oriented approach and within each of these, we address specific tools. For example, ‘how can I connect with my audience’ rather than ‘which video conferencing tool should I use’, and while you’ll find answers to both of these questions (and more) in here, we find that by asking the core need question we open to new possibilities that could make a significant difference.

Content

Tools and tips to guide you as you create content for distinct audiences and ask for feedback on your content. In here you’ll find answers to questions such as ‘how can I record an audio interview or video presentation’ and ‘how can I gather information from a group of stakeholders’.

Connection

Tools and tips to guide you as you set up to connect with your audience. More than ‘oh, we’re connected on LinkedIn’. In here you’ll find answers to questions like ‘how can I make the most of time together on Zoom/Teams/ect’, ‘what can we do differently to change the energy of our meetings’ and ‘is there something other than a video call that we can do’.

Collaboration

Tools and tips to guide you as you seek to create with others. In here you’ll find answers to questions like ‘what can I do to improve contribution in digital engagement’ and ‘what tools are available for digital collaboration and how would I go about choosing one’ or ‘I like to be in control so why would I want everyone to be able to edit my content’.

Just want to know how to use your tools better?

Our growing list of product pages is where you will find collections of how-to’s, tips, and tricks for specific products, starting with the most widely used digital connection and collaboration tools.

Can’t find something you’re looking for? Send us a message to the email in the footer.