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Why hippos do not worry about User Experience

Why hippos do not worry about User Experience

As companies grow, people get promoted, companies get acquired, and the field of ownership and responsibility slowly begins to blur. So much so that even as a process owner, you are drowning in unresponded invites to internal status meetings, new initiatives as well as already approved project kick-offs. Sounds familiar?

“Apologies for my late arrival, It’s been quite busy lately…” you may hear yourself utter more frequently than you used to. 

“Yes, this is very nice. We are actually planning to do this, but currently, we have different priorities,” remember hearing or saying something similar before COVID-19? Are you still saying that now?

“We have wanted to redo the company portal for two years now. People are not happy about it. It’s slow and obsolete. So, how come this project hasn’t taken off yet?” Somebody above on the ladder asks out of the blue.

“I don’t know. I guess it’s just not as important as the other projects we carry on our shoulders right now,”  you would want to answer truthfully, but being a smart process owner, you already know a better fire-extinguishing reply.

You know they are right. You use that portal every day and are not very happy with it either. It could be so much better. As well as the ten other portals your company uses because you acquired multiple companies, but every branch is still using its own solution. The very reason why you don’t have much time lately is that you’re trying to navigate every process, every screen. Maybe you are not a Steve Jobs admirer or UX/UI Weekly magazine subscriber, but you can tell right from wrong.

 “My god! Is this one still written in HTML only? Is it even smartphone compatible? What year is this?!” you hear your internal Robin Williams from Jumanji scream.

Where to start? And is it too late? Because they made the Jumanji remake already. It seems like too much work to even start. And it’s not about the looks only. There are processes behind those solutions, 3rd party integrations, and a full catalog of services all carefully avoiding categorization and ending in the evergrowing Misc category. All due to the missing responsibility rules.

Suddenly, a strange feeling washes over you, and you think: If we start now, will the new solution even matter in five years? Would it be obsolete by then? And then another even stranger thought. Why couldn’t I be born as a hippo? I would swim in rivers and swamps of Africa and mess up anybody who would try to talk to me about database infrastructure. Nobody messes with hippos, not even lions…

A small bird lands on your shoulder: “Dude, are you coming to that meeting or what?”

It’s not a bird. It’s your colleague’s hand. His question still stands, though.

“What meeting?” you ask, still a little bewildered.

“We have a meeting with the new supplier. They wanted to talk to us about some User Experience topics. Some portal thing or what.”

“Oh, I totally forgot about that one. I hope it’s not another waste of time.”

We know; we have been there. But we also know that before any meaningful work can start, people need to start talking. To get informed, to get motivated, to understand each other, to start planning, and to build trust. That’s where the experience starts. Be it the user or customer one.

If you want to know how we get from simple ideas to actual valuable scalable solutions, join us soon in the next article from the series Why do hippos not worry about User Experience. Or we can start talking right away.


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