Feeds

Payroll jobs and Canucks on an iPhone

Three projects, many lessons

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

My message from this is exactly how important end-user experience truly is. My CEO views the time of his staff as money, and abhors spending the wrong person’s time on the wrong project. He would prefer to do other things with his time, but he considers, even in a manufacturing company, a functional and easy-to-use application experience so important that he will spend his time testing templates.

The last project is the finally finished ongoing catastrophe known as our mobile replacement. We ditched a set of truly awful Treo 700Ws for a shiny new Blackberry server and associated smartphones. After a few failed starts I took over the project. I offered our mobile users the choice of any phone our carrier offered - so long as it was a Blackberry. There of course had to be one user who, three quarters of the way through the provisioning cycle, told me we needed to get everyone iPhones. I pointed the users in the general direction of the Storm 2, and they have since been quite happy.

The event sticks out for me because the user was not impressed by the iPhone because it was Apple, or the phone was hip. Rather it was because at a tradeshow they caught a colleague watching the Canucks getting beat on an iPhone. The concept of being able to stream video on a cellular network had never occurred to them before this. They saw it first on an Apple, it was evangelised by an ardent fan, and thus Apple “invented” it.

In this way Apple has “invented” everything of use in mainstream computing. From being the only computer for design, to inventing the MP3 player, smartphone, tablet computer, video conferencing and now, apparently, 3G streaming. When introduced to non-Apple alternatives, the people crying loudly for Apple gear seem shocked that it already existed in a previous form. The lesson I took from this is that users don’t care about the technology. With the exception of a few loudmouths on the internet, nobody cares that this was made by Apple, Sony, Microsoft or anyone else.

Users care about what a product can do. They care about how easily that product can do it. Users care about looks, but not as much as ease of use, good documentation, presentation of features and fantastic marketing. What’s more, good businessmen care about these things too; this is what makes their company tick, and what makes them money.

So from watching other projects unfold, I have taken to heart the idea that IT must be about more than the technology we use to solve a particular problem. IT must even be about more than the problem we are solving and what it costs to solve it. IT is solving problems using technology, but it is also managing user expectations, knowing when to throw wetware at a problem and yes, doing IT truly well does require a certain amount of flair.

IT is about business - and an enormous chunk of business is nothing more than user experience management. Next, I'll be telling you how I'm putting this management into practice. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.