I want my morning back.

Nobody is perfect – not even Apple

Often clients say to us „It should be like an iPhone“ or „We want to be like Apple“. Apple stands for outstanding user experience.

Even Apple makes mistakes. In the last few weeks the iOS5 Upgrade for iPhones and iPads became available. As a result my twitter and facebook news feeds were full of friends complaining about it.  Their posts said „It took me 3 hours!“, „All my photos were gone“, „My phone crashed many times till it worked“. Actually, google it, there are websites full of people trying to trouble shoot their iOS5 upgrade. This feels like a first in the context of Apple.

„I buy Apple because I like things that just work.“

In the last decade Apple customers have experienced a high level of user experience. That now makes them particularly annoyed customers. Apple so far set and delivered expectations – and customers paid a lot of money assuming these expectations will permanently be met, in every aspect of interacting with Apple technology. A friend of mine who lost some photos thanks to the upgrade brought it to the point „I buy Apple because I like things that just work. I never imagined something like this could happen when I upgrade an Apple product“.

What do we learn?

1) User Experience is a job that is never done. You must keep going – at all times, in every aspect of your product. The better your products have been in the past, the better you need to deliver in the future. Your customers are spoilt.

2) Getting the user experience right is not easy – even the ones that have been called the masters of this art make mistakes. Even Apple must try harder sometimes.

3) User Testing – why not save yourself & your customers a lot of pain? If the iOS5 Upgrade had been tested with the right people, with real life phones etc the problems could have been identified & fixed before release. This would not have been more expensive than thousands of angry calls to Apple call centres worldwide. And, the problems aren’t over: How many customers will next time happily upgrade?

We all hate it when machines steal our time, destroy our photos or make our friends angry. This is what Apple did with its latest upgrade. The British comedian David Mitchell wrote about his upgrade experience  on twitter „A machine suggested to me that this is something I might do and, foolishly, I listened. I want my morning back.“


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