Adopting technology in our daily lives has taken a confident leap within the past two decades. Two critical reasons behind this leap are: first, we have led the I.T transformation and development revolution globally and second, the average technology user base has grown tremendously (still going upward) with it.
With those factors in mind, here’s a technology anecdote from two of the most upwardly techno-centric metropolitans in India, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Our first experience with the FASTag RFID technology was at Mumbai Sealink toll booth. The cab had the FASTag and it simply slowed to a cruising speed, got scanned, logged and the toll was collected.
The Bengaluru highway story made it to the papers due to its manual scanning of each FASTag carrying vehicle, with a person deployed for this task. Vehicle comes to a standstill, the worker scans the RFID tag on windshield and the toll is collected.
The catch here is that we have created ‘parallel technology divides’ – what this means is that any advantage gained by superior technology driven process is effectively zeroed out by incompetent technology deployment, somewhere else. And therein lies the conundrum, from life to industry – how do you convince responsible and accurate technology adoption with uniform usage aligned with the conceived (or even better) outcomes?
Technology adoption rate and usage are driven by inherent behaviours and biases that limit its potential. Simply, mandating usage of a technology or software tool doesn’t understand or eliminate these biases or behavioural hurdles. A well thought and researched user-journey towards nudging them into exploring a “better tool” has to be conceived and delivered. User experience matters even when the objectives and outcomes are linked to compliance and regulatory affairs.
The ‘developer to user journey’ also has a few demands. Semblance, elements of familiarity and that it should even inculcate ‘journey beacons’ that can let the developers know specific number of times a user, maybe digressed or expressed interest in choosing a different workflow than is constituted within the software technology. Hardcoding workflows might be the right idea in compliance and regulatory affairs based software, however, configurability or in this case representing compliance scenarios and forms in easier, simpler and intuitive formats is what will lead to better outcomes.
The other tour de force that can deliver resilient and more often used piece of technology or software – absorbing the human behaviour, the nature of industry or workplace and combining them into traits that provide the “aha” moment. Again, such development has intimate ties with portraying intuition and presenting it to the user as their own ‘discovery’. Molding and shaping the future technologies will demand this increasingly even at the most basic of the user experience levels.
While the onus clearly lies with the ones crafting the technology, offering uniform experience to the user will ensure that they start formulating a ‘type of brand of memory’ which is then associated with the software or technology experience. This cultivates a data culture that will ultimately drive compliance and performance objectives.
However, if there is one takeaway that we can learn from the Mumbai-Bengaluru anecdote is that one shoddy experience exerts more pressure and erodes confidence than a positive seamless experience – it is the habit of latter which creates long term impact for human minds.