Make Their Lives Easier
“It doesn’t matter. People are lazy.”
A friend of mine informed me of this last night when I tried to sell her on (what I think is) a cool new online tool. It was a powerful reminder that it doesn’t matter how cool something is – if it isn’t simple and easy then people just won’t use it.
I’m a busy guy. You’re probably in the same boat – you have 28 hours-worth of things to do in any 24-hour period.
In this context, the things that we’re likely to pay attention to – the things that we will try or buy – are the things that make our lives easier. For example:
- I read a large number of websites every day; too many to keep track of them all manually. Google Reader (or any RSS reader) pulls them all into one place and streamlines my reading.
- I’m always on the move. My BlackBerry, along with apps like UberTwitter and Facebook, let me stay connected and in-the-loop when I’m out and about.
Given this context, providers of online applications need to make them easy to use if they want our attention:
- Give us a simple registration process and we’ll try it. Give us a difficult multi-stage process and we’ll drop off mid-way through.
- Craft simple, plain-language communications and we’ll pay attention. Craft impenetrable corporate bureaubabble and we’ll ignore it.
- Offer great customer service and we’ll rave about it. Silo your customer service along internal lines instead of customer needs and we’ll go elsewhere.
Make life easy for people, or you won’t have any people to deal with.