Following a recent Economist article, JP Rangaswami blogged about “can versus should“. His theme was around DRM and identity; just because the government can monitor your digital behaviour does not mean that they should. I like this, but think it can be extended to much of the IT domain.
Web 2.0 introduces many new styles of interaction, drag and drop, take over the right-hand mouse button… just because we can do these things doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. What will the impact be? Hide calls to action behind the mouse button on your site and your site alone, how does the user know to find them there? When building a “deluxe web” site at the forefront of mind should be how will people actually interact with the proposition. Just because we can do some technically cool stuff that would give us a buzz and gain nods of appreciation from our technical colleagues, doesn’t mean that we should. A customer who has come to the proposition probably requires clarity and an ability to accomplish their goals. They care very little for the stuff we can do.
And then there is mobile. Just because we can deliver the ability to enable customers to watch TV on their phones, doesn’t mean that we should. Too often new propositions are driven by IT ability rather than consumer demand. WAP was a great example of this; IT consultants getting excited about delivering content on mobile phones using WAP, completely overlooking what a shocking experience it was and simultaneously missing what consumers actually wanted to do – text message.