It’s The User Experience, Stupid

No matter how “magical” the tech, it’s your users’ experience that matters.

Mar 18, 2016 · 3 min read

At my previous company, over the course of about 4.5 years, we tried out at least 6 different web conferencing “solutions.” A few of them were so bad that we actually went back to previous solutions we were looking to replace — “the devil you know,” and all that. There are so many web conferencing services today that there’s a niche industry of sites that “rate” the various services for you.

Page 1. C’mon now.

How could there possibly be a market for so many similar services? Has providing such a service just become incredibly easy with very low barriers to entry in the market?

Judging by personal experience, I’m going to guess “no.” Instead, it seems that the reason so many of these services exist is that the user experience of so many of these services is just awful.

“Sorry, the passcode you entered 9–9–9–9–9–9–9–9–9–9–9–9–9–9 is invalid. Please hang up or try again.”

“John… John…? Hello? John… we can’t see your PowerPoint. We just see your Facebook account. You might want to close that.”

“Can anyone not talking please mute your phone?”

Those are the sort of things I’ve heard and or seen hundreds of times across dozens of services. Everyone’s web conferencing service experience stinks. Companies just keep trying to solve the same problem over and over again because they think they see a market opportunity for another, “better” service. Even though the concept of screen-sharing and real-time video meetings should still have an air of magic to anyone who hasn’t grown up on FaceTime, there exists no obvious, user-loved market leader because of lousy user experience.

Want to absolutely dominate a market using IoT? Got some incredible tech that makes all the engineers go…

Woah

Solve a problem and make it really easy to use. Because until that problem has a solution people want and can use, that problem is not solved, and your market is still wide open.

Search: Solved.

In the world of IoT, we see magical technology every day. Astonishing communications capabilities, incredible battery life announcements, and data processing tricks that make you question your math education. But what we see very infrequently are solutions to problems that people — accountants, stay-at-home-parents, doctors, mechanics, and yes, even engineers— might find easy to use. And so the dozens of vertical industries that will eventually experience revolutionary improvements due to IoT remain gigantic market opportunities.


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Matt Quirion

Written by

Director, Product Engineering @ STAQ. Specialization is for insects. Into IoT, Web, dev, food, football, data, beer, biz, etc... Not so much insects.

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