I have been thinking about the “products where UX most relevant according to the business” quadrant that Jeff Patton draws out in the diagram I have been obsessing on ever since I have seen it.
Why am I obsessing? Because right now — at this second — I am working in that scribbled pink area. Let’s look at the product I am supporting — mobile device software for managing freight shipments.
Compelled use? Check.
Internal use? Check.
Reduces cost? Check.
Does this bug me? Check.
Wait. Not really. It doesn’t totally bug me. Because deep down inside I KNOW the relevance of user experience. These past few months, as I have been out in the field — riding along with drivers who pick up and deliver freight for our customers, the most striking thing that has registered for me is NOT so much how they handle all the paperwork and the phone calls, and the reading of the maps.
These guys are the ambassadors for our company. If they aren’t confident, at ease, and generally kind of happy about what they are doing, the company’s customer experience is going to suffer. To put it another way — I watched one of our drivers filling out his paperwork walking back to the cab after spending 3 minutes BSing with Mildred at the auto parts warehouse — (she’s a regular). I asked him why he filled out that paperwork while he was walking back to the truck. “Well, if I don’t, I won’t be able to talk to Mildred.” he paused “So whatever kind of paperless thing you make, I better be able to walk, and talk and fill it out all at the same time while I am walking back to the cab, or it’s not gonna fly.” “That is, unless it’s too slow. And then, it’s going through the window.”