In 2002 the virtual folder was developed by the software department of Archive-IT. This was the beginning of the mindset that Archive-IT had in mind since its foundation; the feeling of paper in a digital world. This line of thought is the starting point for all solutions developed by Archive-IT. It is not my intention to talk about Archive-IT and its solutions, but it appeals to me how the transition to a digital working environment is something drastic for many organizations and has to do with emotion and values.
Our current society is in a phase of transformation. We are so used to paper, and have based many of our processes, habits and agreements on it, that we cannot abandon it all at once. It is therefore not surprising that this generation continues to hold on to this. 15 to 20 years ago we worked without mobile phones and the internet. Almost everything was done on paper; business administrations consisted of files full of volumes and even the fax (very modern at the time) was printed on paper.
Digital is the standard
The generation that is now being born will grow up in a time in which they know no better than to work digitally. The youth of today can even be counted as part of that generation. Digital is the norm for them. From communicating with friends, shopping online to searching for information. The emotional bond with paper does not exist for them. For most of us this is different. Growing up and developing in an environment where everything revolves around paper is not something you just put aside.
Find balanceI believe that today’s applications and complex technologies are too much built on digital and numerical situations. Without taking into account the feelings of the user. What does a user really want? In fact, they just want to work as they have always done, simple and familiar. Nevertheless, users realise that they have to keep up with the times and that there is a lot of room for improvement in efficiency. It is not always easy to find the right balance.
Archive-IT’s starting point for copying the paper world in the digital world; the so-called ‘Mapping the real world’ provides a compromise. It ensures that both the digital generation and the paper generation are able to work digitally/paperless, in a familiar way. The Archive-IT Virtual File is a good example of this. An exact copy of reality. Files and documents remain recognizable, but the possibilities are more extensive.
The role of man is very important in the development of software. And that requires empathy. We have a paper way of thinking in digital format.