June 9, 2015
Focus On What The Users Care About, Not What The System Cares AboutJust time before my morning conference call to draw your attention to a very interesting blog post that was tweeted earlier about how a "delay" in bus services reported by Transport for London (TfL) was not really a delay from the passenger's perspective, highlighting the dangers of designing services - in this case, passenger information systems - from the system perspective and not the user's.
I think this is a classic example of a system focus taking precedent over a user focus. The gist of it was that TfL were reporting "delays" of up to 40 minutes on bus services, but when the blogger caught a bus during that time period, he sailed through the streets of London and arrived without any delay at his destination.
As he describes it:
"From TfL’s point of view, bus x is supposed to go past point y at time z. If it gets to z late, it has been delayed.2 Quite rightly, TfL care about specific buses and the overall service. But from my point of view, if I get to point y at time z, I am happy – and will be blissfully ignorant of the fact that I am on bus q which should have got to y half an hour earlier"
It might serve as a timely reminder that we should make a bigger effort to distinguish between features we think our system should have and things our users care about, and be driven by the latter, not the former.
Posted 2 years, 7 months ago on June 9, 2015