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Influencing Ministry Software By Becoming a CAT…

Kristen Hardaway July 8, 2014

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Hi. I’m Kristen and I’m a UX Designer. Typically when I tell people my job title, they look at me like I made it up. But it’s real, I promise! Let me explain. “UX” stands for “user experience.” Over the last five or so years at ACS Technologies, we’ve built a whole team that focuses on that very thing. The team consists of researchers and designers and we work closely with the rest of the Research & Development department to shape product development. Our primary focus is the future product offerings of ACS Technologies, which include Realm and The City. But our processes affect the current suite of ACS Technologies products as well.

UX doesn’t begin and end when you log into and out of your ACS Technologies product. It’s our role to oversee your entire experience – from when you visit the ACS Technologies website to when you purchase the software from a salesperson all the way to supporting you over the phone when you have questions.

Now that you know that UX isn’t a made up word, I want to share with you a project we’ve been working on to improve our clients’ software experience.

The CAT

(I’m a dog person myself, but I’m supportive of our acronym and fun logo.)

The Customer Advisory Team was built to gather as much data as possible when researching new product functionality. A few months back we emailed as many people as we could find in our database about signing up for the CAT. More than 800 clients signed up (yay!) and we had about 200 sign up at our 2014 Ideas to Impact Conference in Nashville, TN.

So what did these people sign up for, exactly?

When the UX team is working on a new project, we reach out to members of the CAT when we have questions or need feedback. As part of the signup process, you indicate your level of involvement. It can be as little as an emailed survey once a month or as much as a personal visit from our friendly team to observe your everyday operations. So you control how often we utilize your knowledge! You also can opt out of participating at any point.

What does this get me?

You may be thinking you don’t use Realm or The City, so this doesn’t apply to you, but I’m going to tell you we prefer that you don’t use either. We need fresh eyes, and we also want to make sure Realm is ready for you if and/or when your church is ready to move to the cloud. (See Mark Thompson’s article) As a member of the CAT, you’ll not only influence how the software is built but you also get to see what we’re working on, so you’ll know what’s coming.

ACS Technologies loves our customers. We are committed to providing you tools that will further God’s kingdom. Join us in our efforts by signing up for the CAT – so building ministry software can truly be a collaborative and fun endeavor!

Sign up for the CAT 

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