What Would Steve Jobs Say?

More than likely you’ve purchased a song or many songs from iTunes as my family and I have.  Has it occurred to you that when you buy for your iPhone, iPad or Mac it’s one seamless process?

Think about it for a moment.  Do you search for it in one application then toggle over to a different application to pay for the tune and then toggle over to another application to listen it?  The answer is no.  The brilliance of iTunes is that you can do it all within one application; a single application that performs multiple tasks. 

It occurred to me while at a conference on “healthcare innovation” this simple approach to usability is still not the accepted method in healthcare.  The speakers spoke with authority on how users would have to exit out of, or toggle from, their billing system then log into a payment portal after having downloaded data.  I thought - what would Steve Jobs say about the user experience in healthcare even though we are now in the year 2019 not 1999 if he was alive today?  I imagine it would a scathing commentary after Apple did a deal with Epic.  My next step was to pose the same question to my fellow conference attendees.  Uniformly, the reply was: “this is just how healthcare works.”  Really?  Since when is complacency a prudent business strategy?

A symptom of complacency is a lack of clarity when it comes to seeing and understanding marketplace wants and needs.  If the “healthcare innovators” conducted even a little reconnaissance they’d see that patients and medical group/RCM personnel do not like to toggle from application-to-application. 

Regardless of what sort of application you’re developing or selling, if you’re not attuned to the usage preferences of those dealing with your software every day, you are putting your long-term viability at risk.  A kludgey user-experience puts complacent vendors at risk, especially as others are willing to address design and usability the way Steve Jobs did religiously.  Usability is what differentiates and provides an edge when competing for users and market share.  I would suggest you look at how Blackberry is doing today versus Apple or Samsung to see just how much value people place on ease-of-use.

So, like Apple has done, how do you keep your current customers fiercely loyal to your product, attract new ones and drive your competitors crazy trying to keep up?  Keep their experience with your product in mind at all times and move quickly to embed all key functions of their workday processes into your application and eliminate that troubling tendency to toggle.  By doing so you create a unified user experience, put up significant barriers to switching and drive greater revenue, as your customers become your greatest salespeople…just like Apple. 

Let’s heed Steve Jobs’ words: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and follower.”