When it comes to a company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, digital products can play an important role. Everything from the way a product is designed to how they’re used can impact a company’s ESG profile. 

Here are five ways digital products can support a company’s ESG efforts.

1. Accessibility and digital inclusion are critical for ESG 

Making sure that your products are accessible to all users is not only the right thing to do from a social responsibility standpoint, but it’s also critical for meeting ESG goals. Companies that don’t take measures to ensure their products are accessible could find themselves at risk of violating laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, companies that exclude certain user groups could be missing out on valuable insights and opportunities. As an example of industry-specific ESG trends, this GSMA report emphasizes the importance of digital inclusion and equity for telecommunications.

2. Design systems are essential to delivering social impact 

Gartner and many other organizations agree that design systems aren’t just a nice-to-have; they’re one of the most strategic assets for you’re company. They’re essential for helping companies create consistently high-quality digital products that meet users' needs while supporting the company’s governance and efficiency goals. A design system ensures that all front end elements work together and are accessible to all users. In a report focused on bridging digital & ESG goals, the World Economic Forum cites the importance of providing employees with common experience tools and capabilities.

 

3. User experience (UX) research is key to understanding user needs 

Customer and employee experience should be an essential part of any ESG strategy. Understanding what users need and want is essential for designing digital products that meet their needs. UX research helps companies gather data about user behavior, which can then inform product design decisions. In addition, UX research can help identify areas where a product could positively impact a user’s life, which is essential for meeting ESG goals. 

4. A/B testing can include continuous improvement for social impact 

A/B testing in digital experiences allows companies to test different versions of their products with real users and see which version performs better. This kind of user feedback is essential for continually improving a product's quality and ensuring it meets users' needs. In addition, A/B testing can be used to test different versions of a product design to see which one is more accessible or easier to use, providing support for underserved users . 

5. Experience analytics can help assess a product’s impact on users 

Data analytics for digital experiences should track how users interact with a platform or product and what kind of impact it has on their lives. This data can then be used to improve the product and ensure it continues to positively impact users - not just business KPIs.  In addition to supporting a collaborative ecosystem around new technologies, business models, and partnerships, ESG data can be linked to compensation and bonus schemes.

Digital experience design plays an essential role in helping companies reach their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. From ensuring accessibility for all users to using data analytics to iterate on a product’s impact, responsible digital experiences can significantly impact a company’s bottom line and social responsibility profile.

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