Guest post by Office 365 MVP Jussi Mori, Peaches Industries
In today’s technology-dominated world, we tend to forget the most important variable within the game: the human being behind the machine. There is a legendary recording of comedian George Carlin about the modern man, which summarizes many of the problems that our modern, technological society faces, in four hilarious minutes:
“I have been up-linked and downloaded, I have been inputted and outsourced and all the upside of downsizing and all the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge-state of the art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.”
How can we cope with the continually increasing demands and overall economic insecurity that we all face? No wonder we have a user engagement problem today! A study by Gallup found that over 70% of the US workforce are not engaged at work, or are actively disengaged at work. But what does this mean in practice? What makes an employee or a user of your application an engaged user? According to Wikipedia:
In the online world, user engagement refers to the quality of the user experience that emphasizes the positive aspects of the interaction with a web application and, in particular, the phenomena associated with wanting to use that application longer and frequently.
When we look at the overall user experience of today’s enterprise applications, we need to recognize that we have a problem. Enterprise applications are designed to serve and fulfill a certain business need or business process. But mostly, the design of these applications is done in such a way that the human factor has been (or is) totally ignored. In order to overcome these issues, we need to start thinking and problem solving from the ‘human being’ perspective, and not treat everyone like a convenient, predictable machine. We need to lead a paradigm shift from process-focused design towards human-focused design.
Let us look at a few examples. Most of them should be familiar, but it is always good to reflect on the things you should already know:
Alright, so we have looked at seven mindsets that could, if implemented with good intentions and compassion, be a way to improve how engagement occurs within your organization or with the users of your digital assets. You might be thinking that this sounds all nice, but how in practice can you achieve everyday performance results in these areas? Think big, but start small. Look at one of the seven points described above and think how you could start to incorporate new, positive behaviors and routines into your daily lives. When you start to believe you can make a change, it will begin to manifest a lot sooner than you might think!