I have always believed that we learn more from our mistakes, than from when things go well. Here is the latest example, see if you agree.
I dont think many who are reading this could have failed to notice the recent changes in Skype, on both phones and computers. What was that feeling like when you opened new Skype, after that update, you thought ... What?...
For me, I felt a sinking feeling, of dis-empowerment, of a removal of a control that I thought I had with my technology. My reaction was to go to a website, and vent my feelings by recording my displeasure... Did I feel better? No, and I am still resigned to the fact that technology Mistake no. 1 has occurred:
Mistake No. 1 - Never, ever do something where you push something onto an existing user, that you think they need because you are powerful.
The whole point of modern technology is that it is the ultimate consumer driven service - the power comes from what matters to the customers... It has to be the customer that has the power to direct the workflow or process or software experience. Break that rule, and it will be your downfall. Its easy to grasp, but for some it is a new mindset to get your head around, and that adjustment may not be easy as it sounds. I have never met a manager who has said that they do not understand customers, so it has more to do with approach adjustment, and as with many conceptual issues, it will benefit form outside help to assist the adjustment.
What do Microsoft do about this problem feedback that turned negative, when they learn that 'users' are not happy? What do Microsoft say in response? They answer that they believe that we will end up liking this, once we get used to it.
What is Mistake no. 1 based on? The premise that: We are not users, we are the ones that own the use of the application. So dont treat us as 'users', treat us as 'owners.'
Even though Microsoft wrote the software, its ours... Is this not the key principle behind the design of the user experience UX?
The next thing I read they said: We are listening to you. Shudder...
Ok, Mistake No. 2 - Dont listen to your customers, What this means is that listening to customers - we take some time out to listen, but what is going on in our minds is still focused on ourselves.
Forget listening, thats old hat, what you need to do is understand customers. Thats all any organisation needs to start with, every time, all the time. Its the most important thing you will ever do in business. Get that wrong, and your'e off in the wrong direction.
It is important to see the positive in negative things. So, for those in the service industry, this is a great lesson in what not to do. The learning opportunity is there to take, and perhaps avoid this ourselves in the future with UX and UI. And what of Skype, anyone know of a good alternative?
So youre doing some Digital project in your organisation? This approach is much more important to you, because you sometimes deal with issues that affect peoples livelihood. You need to ensure you don't end up putting in more barriers to helping people.
I recently saw some digital implementation in a council - its purpose was to save resources at the front end. I took some measurements of the results and I recorded an increase in work for the council!
This can be easily avoided by understanding customer, then
Measure the change in performance before and after. Second demand numbers - value and failure demand.
Helping others to learn how to do better things