April 18, 2021

5 mins read

Solving Platform Fatigue

Communication Platform Fatigue: A devastating and exhausting digital crisis, often exaggerated heavily by the increasing pressure to bring as many communication and business processes online as quickly as possible.

A woman sits frustrated at a computer, as she tries to remember which tool to use.

Scribbled by Craig Doig, Cofounder of Markee.io

Prior to 2020, it was often diagnosed by observing your tired-eyed employees bang their head against the keyboard as they toggle between applications, trying to figure out where team members are communicating now. Was it in Slack, Discord, or wait...aren’t they supposed to be video conferencing externally with clients in Teams now? Should they use it internally too?

Often the sales or support manager (originator/aggressor/expletive) attempts to ease the turmoil by sending an email to the group, letting them know you finally settled on Teams because it has Word Docs, but “We still need to finish projects and send all the files to the tagged customers in Asana after we have uploaded the files to Google Drive.” One by one they collapse under the sheer volume of platforms, they have lost faith in the system. Lost and feeling isolated, they revolt, and you are left to clean up the mess!

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the bigger problem arises: your clients, vendors and customers have noticed the overwhelming amount of platform confusion. A meeting invite from one team sent via Google Hangouts. Another sends a Zoom link. Files that were on WeTransfer are now in Dropbox, and no one can keep track.

Platform fatigue is real. It can cost you sales and client relationships, not to mention the effects on team morale. If there’s one thing we have at Markee, it’s opinions – and here are mine on how to cure your platform fatigue death spiral.

The average 'digital' company

In the not so distant past, I was the COO of a film production company with about 15 employees. When I started I nearly had an aneurysm. Here is a list of the platforms we used to communicate:

  • Gmail - emails

  • Spark - to ‘chat’ privately about emails, only on apple products

  • iMessaging - internal comms

  • Airtable - for project management and commenting on project flow

  • Slack - for internal team communication

  • Dropbox - to send files internally and externally, video review

  • Wetransfer - to send files internally and externally

  • Vimeo - video review, external communication

  • Website - custom development for proposals

  • Google Docs - drafting contracts, mocking up proposals

  • UberConference - external communication, video conferencing

You can chat and comment on all but two of those apps listed above. Everyday without fail a conversation could be had on any platform and unless you had checked them all, you would get caught in a situation with no context as to how we digitally arrived there.

To provide a concrete example; when a project got to post-production, we would often upload our videos to Vimeo. Vimeo has a built in notes feature that emails you when a client makes a note. Meaning, when you would send the video for review, you could get a note in Vimeo, an editor could respond to that note, both creating an email, that email could be commented on in Spark, and then that conversation would be referenced in a project channel in Slack, leading to a change in Airtable, and that change could texted to a fellow employee. That was on a good day, where we hadn’t made comments in other documents. There were too many threads, too many chances to drop a ball, and frankly the notifications are just too damn annoying for most of our employees! Also, our customer is probably wondering why it takes 6 hours to get a response.

A female sits at a laptop with their hands in the air, clearly exasperated.

Create a single source of truth for your communications

So how could we solve this issue? In that case emails could have become the single source of truth with Slack as a supporting tool. Simply stop using the ‘extra’ communication features and get rid of the non vital platforms. Find a healthy way to make it clear to your customers and team that communication is done in X or X&Y but never X,Y, and Z+. Settle for less disparate communication channels. With some discipline your head will slowly stop spinning and your team and customers platform fatigue will dissipate.

Now I know what you are thinking, what about my sticky notes, my kanbans, tables, etc. I am not saying abandon the tools, I am saying focus on not using the communication tools of platforms built primarily for a different purpose. Vimeo is great at hosting, if you are going to allow commenting, funnel it through email notifications and address comments there. The goal is to narrow down the sheer volume of information channels you need to make your business happen. Your employees and customers will appreciate the workflow without having to toggle apps often!

Your team and customers appreciate consistency so choose wisely when it comes to finding the best place to interact. Find the right tools for your team!

Enter Markee’s Shameless Plug

You might be wondering why I have such serious opinions on all of this or you might have already realized I am the CEO of Markee, an ultra customizable communications platform and this is one of those crafty promotional blogs! That said, the truth is we really hope you find the right tools that work for you but if you’d like to read on, I would love to tell you how we might be able to help you centralize your internal and external communications.

With Markee you can replace Slack, Teams, Zoom, even Hopin, creating virtual meetings, collaboration spaces, communities, even events, all in your own space with your own domain, branding, and content.

The Markee software showing a breakout space.

We have a complete virtual meeting feature set

  • Host any type of meeting or gathering: 1 on 1, groups, or big events

  • Easy access control: invite anyone, even visitors who aren't logged in, and carefully control who can see and do what

  • Branded calendar invites, human-readable URLs, no downloads or software to install

It's a One-Stop Shop

  • Share and keep files in your customized space

  • Meeting agendas and notes all on the same page with your meeting

  • Internal and external chat features, polls, Q&A - it’s all in one place, exactly where you need it

Its Fully Customizable

  • Control almost everything about how your space works and how it’s set up

  • Markee is committed to the Open Web. "Remove Markee Branding" isn't an extra feature—it's the whole point

  • We even have custom CSS for people who want full control

Nurture Relationships Over Time

  • Individual rooms for customers, opportunities, client deliverables, projects, teams, anything

  • Preserve communication, collaboration, or deal stage

  • Your audience is yours, your customers are yours, your signups are yours, not ours

Here’s The Point:

Platform fatigue sucks. Markee doesn’t. Whatever your audience, Markee is a set of tools that allows you to cultivate any relationship inside your own space. Your team, clients, prospects and vendors will never be confused again on where to meet or where to find shared files. Almost anything you can put on a webpage, you can put in a room in your Markee. And we think that’s pretty great.

Sign Up for a demo today!

All of your relationships under one Markee