Software is like fashion. There is a cadence of new and exciting designs as well as visual appeal in both. And these days, there is an "event" or "show" to reveal the great new designs each season.
Leading software companies have adopted this process. They invest heavily in new design. They realize that the market wants to be wowed on a regular basis. People who use the software want new features in the way that they want the latest fashion.
The flipside is also true. Old software can be spotted like last year's fad. Optimizing software for use by a mouse is now so outdated that people do not even consider it. The user experience is all about touch. Touching glass on a mobile device or swiping a finger across a pad on a laptop is the fashion of the day. Windows are outdated. No embedded videos mean it must be really old software.
Fads pass through as well. Remember parachute pants? How about platform shoes, trucker hats or leisure suits? Knowing how to tell the difference between a technology fad and a long term structural shift can be tricky. Software companies that stay in the lead spend a lot of time with R&D, trying new things, figuring out what is going to last and what is just passing through.
Our Benefitfocus One Place event is a great place to see the latest new designs in benefits software. We have the best and brightest software engineers designing beautiful software. Our technologists study their craft and bring new ideas to life with a high level of quality our clients rely on and trust – much like you trust a favorite designer or fashion house. I imagine the excitement and pride we feel revealing our software at One Place is much like that of a fashion designer unveiling a collection at Fashion Week. Software design is a lot of work, but also incredibly rewarding.
We‘ll be sponsoring Charleston Fashion Week for the second consecutive year later this month. The Emerging Designer Competition: East is our primary sponsorship. Up and coming designers from the eastern U.S. compete to win exciting prizes. We love the energy, creativity and vibe of the new fashion designers showcasing their latest work. In a way, it is very similar to our Benefitfocus One Place event in May where we’ll unveil our latest designs in benefits technology. We find that collaborating with creative people in other areas of design, such as fashion, makes us a better company. It inspires imagination, challenges our design and improves our software.