Consistency is important as it makes people feel at home and instills trust in the brand. The iOS ecosystem makes it easy for people to transition from one device type to other because it has a consistent look and feel, actions and this way the brain doesn't have to apply any cognitive effort when moving from iPhone to iPad to a Mac.
I learned about Keynotopia recently and was enlightened by its application. I saw the transition of a bootstrapped Startup to a consistent Enterprise Startup and this is why I see the importance of consistency introduction in every department at Startup as early as possible.
- The UX style needs to be consistent with the entire product line and a company-wide style guide maintained by the UX group is absolutely important from very early days of the Startup. Your button color, fonts, logos need to be consistent in each product and even company presentations. From the moment a customer lands on your Marketing website to the trial period to becoming an engaged customer the UX style should be consistent. Your drip emails to your in-app messages should have consistent UX style. If the customer uses your Web UI or your Phone App, it needs to be consistent. In Early days of a Startup if this is not done then different teams will have their own designers and people have their own design/style opinions and your products and UX will convey your organization structure. This makes the company look unprofessional and not enterprisey. Having a consistent style also leads to a smaller development cycle, if there is no consistent style then there will be a lot of back and forth between developer and UX team and every small UI change like adding a new button needs to be vetted and introduces cycles.
- Your Marketing message/theme needs to be consistent in Webinars, engineering presentations, blog posts, SEM Ads, drips and .... This way when customers are going to the various web properties they are seeing the same message and it automatically trains their brain to associate the company brand with the consistent message.
- If you are using SOA or microservices your API response codes, request style, signature, and other contracts need to be consistent. This is important because when people create 10 new services you don't need to learn 10 new API designs.
- If you are using SOA or microservices then the way you monitor the service lifecycle should be consistent across services, this way the DevOps can automate and add new services faster and reuse 99% of the automation. This gives an additional benefit that developers can focus on writing business logic and not infrastructure code everytime a new service is added.
- Your Source code style needs best practices guide and this way developer onboarding will be easy as he can see the same pattern everywhere and switching from one code to other will be easy.
- Your logging across multiple services should be consistent and this way developers/PMs/Support can easily read the centralized logging logs without understanding system complexity.
- Your Source control process and release process needs to be consistent across products so developers can easily move between teams and PMO resources/build infra automation can be shared between teams.
In short acheiving Consistency is hard work but it has a tons of benefits and one should be anal about consistency from start.
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