Connecting via an A4 printed page of explanation

Connecting via an A4 printed page of explanation

How does one arrive at a situation where connecting to Wifi requires an A4 page of explanation, printed on dead trees?

No matter how well meaning an organisation, it is dangerously easy to fall into a trap of addressing symptoms rather than root causes. This is true of experience design regardless of whether the service you are delivering is ‘connectivity’ or an ‘app’ or anything else.

In this instance, we might see the cause as the convoluted third party arrangement the venue had put in place to supply Wifi. However, it is usually points to something deeper: an inability on the part of the organisation to see that results – from a user perspective – are paramount. This is especially true in situations where the usage pattern is likely to be infrequent, but time-pressured – like connecting to Wifi during a one-off venue visit. Other examples might include utilitarian transactions while travelling, where digital has the potential to make the experience more convenient, but only if it is absolutely seamless.

Examples like this speak of an organisation which looks inward and tends towards processes which favour internal convenience rather than the experience of their customers. Most people now expect good Wifi to be as simple as selecting a network and entering a password. If that’s most users’ benchmark at home or in the office, what will it feel like when the experience of connecting on the move – when they would most prize convenience – is more complex than it needs to be?

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