Many organisations, regardless of size, are looking at automation in the hope to support people to become more self-sufficient and self-directed in their lives. A great idea that could really leave people more autonomous while being supported by technology. Brilliant! However, most fall into the trap of building something in the hope that people will show. This is often referred to as the Field of Dreams trap.
One of the problem lies in where you start from. Too often I see organisations translate existing bureaucratic practices into automated solutions. And while automation's purpose is to simplify the journey from A to B, the system fails because no time has been taken to fully understand and define the outcome (aka 'starting with the end in mind') or clarify the expectations from the user's perspective. An unwillingness or reluctance to involve the user leads to a vast array of professional (mis)interpretations of what was probably a very simple request to start with.
Another challenge in the automation world is the level of ICT & Digital skills across the population. Though close to 90% of the world's population owns a mobile phone, it is foolish to assume that people have the confidence and skills to use them to their fullest potential. While technology has been around since the 80s, it has only become more intuitively accessible to the user in the last decade or so, with smart phones and other tablets trying to imitate the experience from the users' perspective.
It is not our intention to criticise automation as a helpful approach going forward as we truly believe in its potential, however we do feel it is in danger of losing users' trust. Why? Because the way it has been translated is simply automating bureaucratic frustrations. Involving facilitators of Design Thinking helps leaders & their team avoid this trap and get back to the roots of all good design - people!
Unsure where to start in designing better products, services or experiences? Do you want to avoid the Field of Dream trap? Want help with how to design for higher engagement? Please get in touch!