Delightful Technology

A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of delighting users of technology.  I don’t know about you but that is not always my experience when using a website, app, or some tech hardware.

I bought an iPhone XR recently and I surprised myself.  I thought I would not care much about the facial ID feature – I was wrong.  It is a delightful experience.  Your messages are secure until you look at them.  You need to enter a password into a website, no problem, allow your face to grant access to your favourite password vault to send the password.  Similarly I now use Apple Pay with my VISA to tap and pay – again my face authorizes the transaction.

Full disclosure, I’m a Microsoft fan.  Their CEO, Satya Nadella, has led a transformation and my opinion is that the result is a company that creates delightful software.  It may not start out that way but their change cadence, driven by agile and cloud computing, continuously (monthly) just makes software and experiences better.

I was recently leading a digital transformation initiative and we adopted Microsoft Teams to support digital workplaces.  While we were piloting and then implementing Teams for various groups, committees, working groups, matrix groups, the stuff that frustrated people about the tool, regularly was addressed and missing features added.  It’s the first time I’ve led something like this where the end result was unknown but definitely better, delightful.

Companies and governments are onto this.  I was speaking with the CIO for Public Services and Procurement Canada recently and she talked about the transformation work for Canadian government.  It was a little shocking to learn that I, as a citizen, can not visit a government website, change my address or other profile details, and expect the change to find its way through all government agencies.  I would have to contact all the agencies which have my information and have it changed for each.  Okay, this is not delightful, but it will one day be possible to accomplish through a single contact.

Delightful experiences with technology are becoming a differentiator for companies and public sector entities.  I think those that get it and do it, will win!


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