Be Smart Enough to Find the Answers

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baseball-cap.jpgEarlier this week, I posted a tweet promoting a product that was pretty cool. The application was graphically beatiful and incredibly useful… but I couldn’t actually figure out what it did or how to use it without a lot of work.

The company immediately tweeted back that the interface was “simple”. I replied, “thanks!”. I wasn’t going to argue with their logic. They were obviously a lot smarter than their user… a seasoned techy and geek.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

Of course, the interface was simple to them. They built it! The application in question has actually been on the market, unchanged, for quite a while with very slow adoption. Hmmm… so we’ve not had rapid adoption and we’ve gotten feedback that our interface was clunky. Perhaps the two are connected?

It’s not really fair to insult a user by thinking they’re dumb. Relatively speaking, you should always assume they are dumb! I’m not saying all users are dumb… just setting a ‘frame of mind’ when thinking about your customer experience.

In my conversation with Clint Page, he touted social media as an incredible resource of customer information – saving the company money and time on surveys, focus groups, and strategies. His customers like the product, and they know what they need to make their lives easier… as well as Dotster more successful. Dotster just had to lay the groundwork to begin listening to them!

If you’re a technology company, the conversation is already happening about your product! You can search Twitter, try out a Fan Page on Facebook, use Google Alerts or simply post a blog post and solicit feedback. If your users know you are listening, they’ll provide you with the answers you need. You just have to be smart enough to find the answers.


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    Newsflash to software developers. No matter how cool or stunning your software looks, if I have to spend more than 60 seconds trying to figure out how to do something, I uninstall it.

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