I recently had the opportunity to drive a Lincoln navigator during a business trip to Indianapolis. For “a small additional fee” (smile) I upgraded our crew of 4 to a vehicle that is considered to be one of the most luxurious on the road. Deep inside, I knew I had scored points with the team.
As I drove out of the rental car lot, I was offered a paper map. “NO!” I replied with great indignation. After all, I had a state-of-the-art GPS system. “Why would I want a map?” The lady rolled her eyes and sent me on my way.
The laughter began immediately as I was unable to get the slightest response from my coveted GPS. The team chided me to set a course for our destination and I couldn’t even turn it on. Everyone took turns proving their technical prowess…but no one could make it plot a course.
It was after an hour of driving when we finally figured out that it was supposed to be voice-activated, but it still did not respond to anything we told it to do. That stupid GPS entertained us for hours. But it never led us to a destination.
So, we used our iPhone’s to navigate the entire trip.
I find it interesting that the Lincoln – containing a GPS device that has been designed for road trips – was harder to use than my PHONE. I could not have found my destination (using the Navigator GPS) if my life depended on it.
It made me think about the processes and systems that I produce every day for my projects. I wonder if I sometimes cause similar frustrations to my teammates (who find it easier to use their smartphone than the process that I just handed them). I hope not.
What about your product (or service)? Have you considered how hard it is to use?
Thanks for listening.