Digital Government Assignment 1

Customer Profile
Value Map


  1. It’s often easier to criticize flaws than appreciate the benefits of any imperfect system or software. That is, until you sit down to map out the pluses and minuses. This exercise brought me to the conclusion that I’ve been overly critical of canvas. Canvas provides extraordinary value compared to the most readily imaginable alternative: static paper copies of syllabi, heavy course packets, even heavier books to be sought/bought. It stores most of the relevant information for my courses on the phone in my pocket. The icons are at worst clear and reasonable. They’re at best kind of nice. Canvas’ added value of convenience and access is hard to over-play in spite of some technical hiccups- too many folders overall, links leading to more links, inconsistent information locations across courses.

2. To temper the above comments, mapping customer profiles and value design highlights that feelings matter. The digital age is about both form and function, both style and substance. Without a clear, user-friendly format for the average student/customer, the capacities of a software program are at least hindered and at most rendered irrelevant. Users have feelings and preferences. I kept finding myself drawing up the same emotions — frustration and confusion- that seem to hold a particular resonance with regard to online tools. Osterwalder et al’s use of the term ‘pain’ in both the Customer Profiles and Value Maps resonated in what should seem like an exaggeration. A hard copy syllabus or book may not be the most convenient but at least it’s brand of pain is predictable. A backlit broken link or clicking in circles is it’s own breed of crazy-making. And for a digital course site like Canvas, the mundane predictability of paper is real competition. At least for those of us old enough to remember another way. (Yes, that includes me.)

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