ON USABILITY: "The customer is mine syndrome"


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Some consideration on how to achieve WEB SITES good usability avoiding common problems and not loosing opportunities.

Who should "own" the customer?

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ON USABILITY: "The customer is mine syndrome"

  1. 1. Roberto DADDA On usability The "customer is mine syndrome" At the beginning customer was owned by «sales» people. Call them business, call them marketing, call anyhow you like: they are the one that invent products and how to promote, sell and manage them. Was the time of «computers are only dumb fast and precise executors» idea. Then technology reached the organizations but was considered an enabler only, let's do the same things faster, easier, less expensive but decisions on what to do and how to do was always in the hand of sales. In information intensive business, like banking, soon information technology became in the same time a key factor of success, a bootle neck and a huge cost. Power shifted to technology: sales where asking but most of the time the answer was not because technology cannot do it or things where done, but very late and very expensive. Technology was the bottle neck. Today technology can do almost anything at a reasonable cost and customer needs is again master and sometimes power shifted back to "sales": "we decide what to do and how to do and you are executor only". Both approaches are wrong! For other technologies and in other business area the fact that cooperation between business men and techies is the only reasonable way of getting to good results in term of business (at the and the only important factor) became clear a long time ago. The idea of cooperation won and has been extensively used since a long time ago. Results are there and the number of success stories is great. Not successful initiatives are many, reasons for failure various, but I cannot remember not a single one where the problem was collaboration among the different stakeholders. Take as en example the beautiful Michael Tonet number 14 chair, the victorian age chair in all the Paris bistrot, and still a masterpiece in design. The idea was to build a nice element of furniture light that could be delivered in a small package and easily mounted in customer premises, it sounds like an «ante litteram» Ikea approach. The solution, a 6 piece only chair, came out from the idea of using a totally new technology: wood was shaped by the usage of hight temperature and steam. ! di !1 2 www.dadda.it roberto@dadda.itxxx data xcx
  2. 2. Roberto DADDA On usability Similar things happened several times in the history of technological solutions: think to Kentuky fried chicken, the fantastic KFC. The fried chicken is an old tradition in USA, people likes it, but nobody was successful in making it a fast food offer because of the long frying time needed, more then half an hour! Colonel Sanders find out a technological solution transforming a pressure cocker in a pressure fryer. Again customer needs knowledge and technology working togheter! In an «I own the customer, I decide what to do and how and you are only an executor of what I think and design» environment most provably events like those could never happen! While writing this thoughts my FB friend Davide Boggi has posted this interesting link to a page that somehow confirms them. Thank you Davide! http://designmind.frogdesign.com/articles/winter/the-emergence-design-technologists.html ! di !2 2 www.dadda.it roberto@dadda.itxxx data xcx