OK, this may sound like I am positioning politically, but I am not. I am using the FL COVID-19 registration system, and those used in the various counties, as examples of how knowing your audience makes a difference.
One of the most frustrating things I hear and have experienced personally, is that registration for these systems assumes – and that is the operative word – the user community all have access to online applications via a PC, tablet, or smartphone. Wrong!
One of the first things you find when trying to register is direction to go online and complete the registration forms. In the case of my mother and several others in their 80s, they do not have a PC, table, or smartphone to access this information. When I did this for my mother, I was forced to enter an email address so she can be contacted. Nope, she has no email address. (I had to use mine.) Another challenge was the requirement of a signature. Ever tried signing your name with a mouse? It is like trying to sign your name with a potato.
If you are lucky enough to get through and make an appointment, there is a requirement to provide your email, print the email with QR code, and bring that to your appointment. Wrong again! In the case of my mother, when the time comes that she does win the vaccine lottery, I will get the email and print it. Remember, she doesn’t even have access to the internet never mind an email and the ability to print it. And she is not alone.
In My View
The situation I described above make the assumptions that no matter who you are, you are connected to the internet, have access to online applications, and have the ability to interact in ways that are foreign to them. In fact, even the automated phone systems send them into a frenzy of understanding which button to push and for what?
All of this could be avoided by simply understanding the target audience. With such a large population of seniors, one might think FL and the various counties, would have made accommodations that align with the technical – or lack of – capabilities to this populous audience. /the same holds true for businesses and many organizations, especially given the forced increase of remote workers, and students.
Know your target audience and design your business interactions accordingly. If seniors don’t have access to online applications, how can they possibly interact and do what is required of them? If students do not have PCs and internet access from home, how can they possibly be expected to engage in their educational programs and keep up with those who do? Take the time and know your audience.