Getting Off on the Wrong Foot

In: ideas

16 May 2011

Something to think about: often times the results we have from using a product will be dictated right from the very beginning of our experience.

For example, look at Powerpoint. Much has been written about what is wrong with your average Powerpoint presentation, but we all already know the common problems. They have too much text, are visually boring, and serve more as speaker notes than as an actual enhancement to the presentation being given.

But think about what a user is given when they create a new presentation. The “easy-to-use” template reinforces the standard header across the top, bullets underneath model. Is it any wonder that most finished presentations adhere to that format?

Or look at how getting off on the wrong foot affects online security. While at our computers, we are constantly being asked to create and enter passwords. Is it any wonder that many passwords are not secure? “Words” are easy to guess. If you were asked to create a passphrase, resulting in more unique word combinations, our accounts would be much more secure. Is it possible that one of the biggest problems with online security is simply the use of the word “password?”

Whether you are designing a product, writing a manual, or even running a retail store, analyze the first moments of any user’s experience and think of ways to improve. When you start off on the wrong foot, it can be extremely difficult to fix things later.

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Mark Webster

About Mark Webster

One of the Co-Founders of SideTour, former TechStar (NYC Summer 2011), ex-NBA'er, and past TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Winner.