Automation Doesn’t Always Save Time

I love fixes that save time. I love fixes that are a little nerdy. I love fixes that automate what was once a manual workflow.

It’s critical to remember if you are building a workflow for someone else, however, that you are building a workflow for someone else.

That’s certainly redundant, but what works as an easy solution in your brain might not click with other people.

I specifically mention automation in the post title, as most workflows cannot be fully automated, but if you build automation into some of it, users often expect the entire thing to work with just a single click of a button.

There’s a certain restroom in a certain convention center that has two sinks next to each other. One has a sensor. One doesn’t. On numerous occasions I have both witnessed or been the person who has walked away from the manual sink thinking it will turn itself off, because the other one turns on and off automatically and that’s what I got used to very quickly. (I almost took a photo, but taking your phone out in the bathroom to take a picture is questionable at best.)

The definition of a good solution is not one that saves you the most mouse clicks. It’s the one that saves the most people the most mouse clicks. Make sure you design fixes for everyone, not just yourself.