A Thought For The Weekend : Does Technology Make Things Easier?

Who's Life Does Technology Mae Easier

We’re constantly told that technology is taking away jobs and always makes things easier to do.

I’ve come across 2 examples, that prove this thinking to be slightly incorrect:

1. Candidate applications

I know, this isn’t really a new thing! Why, oh why, can’t people apply for jobs in an easy way? We’re in the 21st Century, the information age, the time of mobile uprisings, yet when I see a job on my mobile phone and want to apply, I can’t!!!

It should be as easy as clicking one button and all my info will be uploaded instantaneously. unfortunately most, if not all, of the job boards and employer websites won’t even let me view their website in a mobile friendly way, let alone allow me to apply!

Results

  1. Poor end-user experience,
  2. Longer process for end-user,
  3. Less work for staff who process the applications, or maintain their web presence
  4. Cost savings in Management’s eyes

2. Online expenses claims

It used to be that you attached your receipts to a claim form, signed it and got paid back. SIMPLE!

Not all companies use online claims systems, but if you do, you’ll probably have to:

  • Wait several days for a login to be set up…..
  • complete an online form, which has loads of individual steps.
  • take photos of receipts or scan copies,
  • send them by email to your work email address, hoping that they get through the filters and security settings
  • download them to your PC
  • upload them onto your claim form
  • Submit your claim form
  • wait for several approvers to sign the claim off
  • keep your fingers crossed and hope that you’ve completed all of the steps above correctly!!

It’s a rollercoaster, but hopefully you’ll be succesful and get your few ££s back.

Result

  1. Poor end-user experience
  2. Longer process for end-user
  3. Less work for staff who process the claims
  4. Cost savings in Management’s eyes, due to point 3 above

There seems to be a trend here – Mainly Companies’ making their lives easier, faster and cheaper, at the expense of longer processes and poor experiences for their end-user.

Don’t get me wrong! If and when it works, Technology can make our lives a little easier i.e. oyster cards (rather than paying for every trip),  email (instead of sending snail mail), mobile phones (instead of standing in a phone box in the cold).

Yes – these efficient technologies have changed the world! They do make things easier and can even save lives, but they were developed with the user in mind, NOT to save cost or a company’s efforts.

When Tech doesn’t work, or in these cases, when the decision makers think that they are streamlining their processes, it can be an absolute nightmare for their customers!!!

Both of these issues can could be changed by designing products and services from a customer stand point first.

  • What problems/fears do they have?
  • What do they need to do?
  • What would they gain by being able to do it?
  • What are their current “pain points”?

How can you design and develop you products or services to address the questions above?

Every Company is different, but all of them can look at their business form a customer stand point first.

Costs savings are important, but ultimately mean nothing if you don’t have any customers in the first place!!!

Thought for the weekend:

Whose life should be made easier with Technology: the Company who want to cut down the work for their staff (and by default cost), or the end-user i.e. the customer who is ultimately paying those employees?

Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

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