Wednesday, July 6, 2011

User failure - it can't just be me

I'm really not trying to be a complicated guy.  While I carry a lot on my plate (CEO of a startup, On the board of Co.'s, father of 4, co-host of wildly successful podcast, avid volunteer and church leader,..)  OK, I bit off more than I can chew...   I'm a soon to be 39yr old Generation X over-achiever, what can I say.    I really thought I could do more with technology.  I believed the hype that I could have it all, an engaged and endearing family, a loyal and supportive staff, an enriched and enlightened media following... yeah FAT CHANCE.  The reality is most of the time I just have a bunch of people waiting for me to show up... physically or mentaly.

While I'm partly to blame, technology has some accountability in this mess.  There is one hype I've encountered and I hope revealing it here will spare you from the same:

Apple Hype - Advanced mobile technology makes it easier to stay informed.
This is a joke...  Here is just one small example.  I used to listen to podcasts by downloading them on to my $50 Sansa MP3 player.  Taking 10 minutes at the beginning of the week I would judiciously read show notes and determine which are downloaded.  (list of the podcasts I listen to below)

So not wanting to spend this 10 minutes, I spent $800 on a fancy iPad since I had already configured iTunes to download my shows automatically.    My hope of setting up a scheduled set of podcast downloads on my mac that would sync to my iPad has turned out to be a big ha ha on me.
1) iTunes podcasts  on  your mac don't sync automatically with your iPad.  (yup, that's a period right there)
2) iPad does not give you a sort order a playlist schedule.  Like everone who listens to industry related podcasts you want to listen in date order from oldest to current.  No such capability on iPad.
3) Can not automatically remove pdocasts... so the list grows and fills your disk up. (I'm sure this was on puposed)

Now I end up spending at least an hour of my time a week downloading and clearing podcasts, switching and sorting them, creating temporary play lists... I listen and learn less and waste more time, total and utter FAILURE on Apples part..

How in the world did  Apple product managers not see this gaping whole in their product design and usability?  Oh wait!  They did... it was a major flaw on the iPod.   Yet, with all the user feedback and frustration, they release it to the iPad

So moral of the story:  listen to your customer and respond.  If the product fa
ils, the user expereince is bad, I don't care how cool the window looks when I can't do simple functions.

My podcast list:
(ITSM weekly podcasts (US, ROW and Antipodean), This week in Tech (TWIT, TNT, & The Social Hour) & The next web daily

1 comment:

Ian Clayton said...

Here's hoping the much vaunted and quite impressive iCloud helps fix your podcast issue and the the umbilical cord link to iTunes we all have to live by...