The Oaks Ignore Their Pleas

Speaking of Simple…

Posted in Products by Jeff Graves on August 31, 2006

Courtesy of Kathy Sierra and her Creating Passionate Users blog:

 Why do so many companies treat potential users so much better than existing users? Think about it. The brochure is a thing of beauty, while the user manual is a thing of boredom. The brochure gets the big budget while the manual gets the big index. What if we stopped making the docs we give away for free SO much nicer than the ones the user paid for? What if instead of seducing potential users to buy, we seduced existing users to learn?

This entry hit me like a ton of bricks tonite…and it’s so darn SIMPLE!  I’ve been following this blog for several months now, and I think Kathy’s right on nearly all the time, but her timing today is impeccable.  In my current role, I’m responsible for “creating passionate users” for my company’s new online info delivery platform.  And, as we’re in the early stages of a fairly large-scale rollout, a lot of my time has been spent on creating training plans, and figuring out how best to position our product with our customer base.  Perhaps it’s coincidence, perhaps it’s Jupiter aligning with Pluto (or some other non-planet entity), but this week it hit me – we need better collateral for our customers!  But I can’t take credit for this discovery…it came from – a customer, who gently asked “is this all you have?” when presented with our existing manual. 

Kathy’s promised a future post that will talk about ways to accomplish some of this without a big budget – I can’t wait, cuz like nearly everyone else in Corporate America, I think I’m going to have a tough time finding a lot of budget money for this effort…


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