Mobile Computing – “Stop Upgrading My System” She Said

One of the biggest complaints with professionals is that just about the time they get use to using a certain software system, the company upgrades it. Or just about the time they get use to using their iPhone, a new one comes out, and they go and get that and it’s too complicated for them. They’ve just finally learned how to use the old one, master the technique and then they’re upgraded. Maybe they don’t want to be upgraded maybe and just want more reliable, and easier-to-use system.Not long ago, I did an ad hoc survey with various people at Starbucks about their mobile computing needs, and what their wish lists were – one of the professional lady sitting in the group said; “I only use a few things, that’s all I want, don’t make my software so complicated, I don’t need all those choices.”Indeed, when I brought this information back to our think tank, it reminded us of that old axiom; “the best system in the world will fail if the users don’t accept it and like it.” And the corollary to that axiom is this; “the worst system in the world will actually work, as long as the users or employees like it.”The reality is that people do like new and innovative things, but they really don’t like change, they pretend to like change, but once they learn how to do something it becomes routine, they become very proficient and efficient in the use of that technology. When we go and change it around on them all of a sudden they become inefficient, and they don’t have time for that especially if they are a business user who uses it all the time. The reason they use the technology is that it is simple, and quick, and they know how to maneuver around the software very quickly.Many younger users who may not be in business – they don’t mind fiddling around and finding out how everything works by pressing buttons and see what happens – and the software designers due make it somewhat user-friendly as the software and programs do kind of what you might expect them to do if you pressed a particular button.But this isn’t fair to a professional user who uses the personal tech device to increase the efficiency of their work. They want the thing to work their way, the way they are used to, and it isn’t the most important thing in their life, it’s just a business tool.Are you beginning to see the problem here and why sometimes the personal tech gurus go overboard, and frustrate the professional users, which by the way are some of their highest paying clientele, and all they do is mess things up and turn off this demographic and market segment.That’s a shame, and Harvard business School should be writing about this, rather than explain how great all this to technology is – especially when it makes our lives more complicated than need be. Please consider all this.