Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’
Ergonomics – the efficiency of work. Can we design work and procedures that are useable? Or somehow does the way we do things create more work, wasted steps, irritation, boredom or fatigue.
Clearly some basic ergonomics is a basic requirement for every manager and geek in this computer world of ours.
I use Hootsuite as my Twitter interface. I like the white layout. I like my stream in three columns – combined, mentions and dm’s. I like the button to shorten urls. I like the stats.
Over complicating upgrade
But they upgraded recently. Big fail in my opinion. We now have to select a social network for our message. I know they are trying to increase functionality (getting greedy?). The trouble is they left the send button next to the status update.
So we type a message, press send and go on to the next task. Hours later we find an error message saying choose a network. Blah. Why can’t you remember. Why can’t I have a default?
Solve a problem by thinking about what users do
This problem could be solved by moving the send button to the right of the social network choice.
This problem could have been avoided by making changes slowly and waiting for feedback to pick up what does and doesn’t work.
Ruin a good design
This overcomplication has changed a good service into a failing service.
For people looking for an Ergonomics 101 project: do an A B test with the button in two places. Then sell the results!
The 2nd rule 0f the 10 Sun Tzu rules of the Networked World
Make our messages as small as possible.
Once again, this rule is intimidating at first, but we can be assured that if pundits are telling us to do something, then they already know how to do it. So for an example, have a look at the link to BNET that I posted yesterday morning to a handy resource for Prospect Qualification.
Note well how they have worked out a simple decision tree and each step is small enough to do.
The General Idea
This is not a new idea at all. We often break complex jobs into small steps.
We are not, however, making information chunks small for the sake of it. If we do, we are in danger of disemboding information and rendering it unintelligible.
But feed forward and feedback must come in ‘glanceable’ amounts – like the speedometer on our car. The information must arrive at exactly the point that we need it (not at exactly the point Head Office feels like sending it!)
Our Overall Goal
To think in networked terms, I want to reach everyone one of my fans and I want to reach potential fans – the friends of my friends.
So I have to think like Twitter. Not only do I keep my messages under 140 chars, I allow for the RT and keep them even shorter! After all, they are 5 times more likely to be read when they come from a close friend.
The technicalities are easy, it is the substance that counts.
The technicalities can be learned quickly enough. What is harder to work out is when and where people need information.
And the viral potential of the message
Hairdressers are often very good at txting reminders for appointments.
What we need too are messages that will go to the “end of the line.” What are we likely to retweet because we want other people to know that information too?
My local deli for example, could tweet its specials to customers who have requested tweets. That makes it easy for me to retweet and invite someone to lunch.
Hack for the 2nd rule
For each customer group that we have identified in 1a and judged to be a qualified prospect in 1b, we can ask:
- What information do they need from us to organize themselves with people around them?
- What is their purpose when they use my message?
Isn’t that why we love resources so much? They become a lego block in a project of our own.
Recap of the 2nd rule
So we need to go back to the scenarios for defining our fans in 1a and think again. Do we know what our potential customer is trying to achieve?
When we do, communicating is ever so easy.
(And it is so hard, when we try to jump steps. Find time this weekend to work on your scenarios! You can do them in the shower, in a walk in the woods, while waiting for your daughter to finish ballet class!).