Users don't care about technology. Really, they don't.

By | September 14, 2011

<RANT>

It’s not new, it’s been said before, but I want to get it on *my* record in the blog-o-sphere.

Users really, really, really don’t care one iota about the technologies they use to do their day to day work.  Why am I stating this?  I stumbled across an interesting question on LinkedIn (http://linkd.in/njBlyF) asking what the differences were between MOSS and SP2010.

Lot’s of people chimed in with great answers evangelising all the great new features of SP2010, but none actually addressed the question asked which had 3 words – “to user newbies” – tacked onto the end, totally changing the context of the thread.

Firstly, I get it that people don’t necessarily read a question fully and digest it before answering, it’s human nature and happens as much in conversations as it does in written form.  It’s the way of it, we’ve all done it, and it is what it is.

Secondly, and really the point of this post, is just the simple fact that users are sheep.  Granted; they’re smart, articulate, talented, walk on their hind legs type sheep, but they are just sheep.  Eat grass, Baaaa a bit, eat more grass.  They don’t care what grass is.  All they care about is “does it provide me something I need”.  (Calculated column: [Grass]=[SharePoint]).

Do users need Service Applications?  Yes.  Do they need to know what it is, why it is and what it does?  No.  (feel free to take the “Do users need <insert SharePoint feature here> construct and use as you  see fit…)

If we think old school, it’s about features and benefits.  Users don’t care about features, they care about benefits.

Don’t waste time explaining in great detail what a <insert SharePoint feature here> is and does (FEATURES), explain in great detail why the users gain from it (BENEFITS).

I once read a great sales book (if I remember which one, I’ll update) that spoke about the “Greed Glands” of buyers and how if you activated the greed gland, you could sell ice to Eskimos.  Greed glands also exist in users and focusing on activating the gland and squeezing out greed hormones by answering the “What’s in it for me?” will IMHO serve you well when struggling to get users to adopt a system.

There, I’ve said it.

</RANT>

One thought on “Users don't care about technology. Really, they don't.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *