Tim Hordern

I ♥ building amazing products and teams. QA + Product + DevOps + Fast = Awesome.

Technology Should Make Us Better

I’ve been around too long and learned from experience that technology has to prove itself. It should make us better. It should solve problems. And, we should consider these things before allowing any new tool into our daily lives. We should ask ourselves if it’s for us.

When we ask our users to adopt a new application, or a new process, or a new UI, or a new feature, we are asking them to invest an effort to adopting our way of thinking. Every change involves an amount of switching costs that some users just won’t be willing to pay. [1]

I’ve talked about it before: we should solve a single problem that our users have and solving it completely. The delight is in getting that right and making users awesome like Kathy Sierra says.

Make your users better or remove pain that they face. Otherwise it’s easier for your customers to do nothing and change nothing. They might even leave.

[1] Sometimes it’s not up to the user. Some companies just won’t care what the impact is on the user: in monopolies or locked-in environments where the switching cost is just too high (“I have to buy an iPhone to get this?”), or just not available (lack of supply), users are forced to take on whatever change is made to them. If you are dependant on a particular service (for instance your Internet provider), you’re forced to adopt whatever new process or tool is decided for you.