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Usable by Default

Posted by openkent on November 2, 2013

In a previous post, I described an exercise we've used to get people motivated about putting forward ideas to our competition. This time, I'm going to talk about the things that people like best about the technology they use, or rather the things that make it easier for them to want to use technology!

From aspirations of improved accessibility of "getting a decent signal" to the blunt call for simplicity "simplify phone and text messages and forget all the other things", via better use of use of your voice to make choices such as "controlling the interphone using voice", it's key that for most people it's not always the most advance features they're looking for, it's how to design in simplicity that makes them want to enjoy their experience using technology.

You can see this in an even more colourful way from this treemap below. Click on the image to activate the visualisation and you'll be able to see people's individual technology wishes!

Treemap of Technology Features


You might ask why ask people who don't necessarily have any technical skills to describe what they would prefer best to make it easier for them to use technology?

Because when people come up with ideas involving technology, they will rarely think about how the idea would actually work if it was turned into a digital tool, or if they're very tech-savvy they will think about how all the different features a digital tool could have without thinking about why and how these would be useful to support the idea itself.

These exercises are there to help guide people through this process, so that they can think as much as users of technology as of residents of their neighbourhood, so that the idea not only works in their community but can work if used online.

How have you involved your customers or residents in shaping online services or in helping develop your tools?

Over to you!

If you've developed similar competitions or if you've taken part in a competition and would like to blog your thoughts, get in touch and we'll feature the best on this blog.

And if you've just got a good idea on how to help people help each in their neighbourhoods or to make it easier to report issues to your council, check our own competition out with up to £3000 in prizes!