By Abbie Stewart, 08 February 2013 –
Here at The Challenge Factor we’re big on technology. We like to think of ourselves as early adopters and are happy to admit (sad as it may seem) that we do actually spend real time in the office discussing the new features we’ve just realised our iPhone/iPad/MacBook can do since its last software update.
(As you can see, we’re quite keen on Apple products in the office - Geoff has been sporting an Apple on his desk since the days they were called Apple Macintosh and had a rainbow apple logo and he was openly mocked for having such a silly computer - oh, how times have changed!)
Sorry, I digress. The point being we love technology and use it as much as we can at our conferences, events and exhibitions to make them as interactive and user-friendly as possible. The key is to make sure that the technology works. It’s all very well us suggesting an amazing idea that will take the world (or your conference) by storm but if our IT team are sat in the corner weeping quietly whilst muttering, ‘it just can’t be done’ then it’s a non-starter. There is possibly nothing worse than what appears to be brilliant technology that just doesn’t work.
A perfect - and extremely annoying - example of this happened to me today. I was trying to be a good person. Having been reminded that a friend is about to undertake a mind-blowingly difficult challenge of cycling a million miles in three days (or something equally unachievable in my mind) I set about trying to donate to the charity of his choice. At the time I was not near a computer and only had access to my phone, so set about doing donating from there - all fine so far.
As I reached the website I spotted it was one of those that has not yet been designed to alter its size to fit a mobile device. Not the end of the world, just a lot of finger swiping to access the correct sections. Nothing too annoying so far.
Having found the donation page I started typing in all the usual details; name, address, favourite colour, last meal eaten and so on and then finally reached the credit card details section, where I typed in all the numbers in the right order and even managed to type the expiry date correctly - hooray. About 100 words typed, 5 minutes of my life gone but all done, so I pressed submit… and disaster struck!
I’d managed to miss the ‘title’ section out, so it was now highlighted in red to ensure I noticed it needed selecting. Not a crisis you wouldn’t think, except as I then looked at the rest of the screen everything else that I’d filled in had disappeared - argh!
So annoying. In fact I was so annoyed about having to start all over again that I almost abandoned the process entirely, until my conscience poked at me and I realised that the reason for the typing was far more important than five more minutes of my life wasted.
Needless to say, second time around I made sure that I covered every millimetre of the screen and didn’t miss anything. Fortunately my efforts were met with success this time.
So, the donation process was over, I’d done a good deed for the day, supported a friend who is carrying out a super human deed, and only taken 10 minutes out of my life, so why the rant?
Well, as I mentioned earlier, there’s nothing worse than technology that just doesn’t quite work. Yes, the donation website worked in the end but not without a faff. Had the site been scaled correctly to fit onto a phone screen I wouldn’t have missed the ‘title’ section and had the site’s set-up been slightly different it wouldn’t have deleted all of the information I’d typed in due to one omission. Fine, it only meant I spent an extra five minutes donating but who knows what other exciting things I could have got up in that time!
In a world where we can do a week’s shop whilst sat in a cafe or access the deepest depths of an encyclopedia in 0.017 seconds, we expect that filling in a form online should be quick, easy and successful first time.
Technology is amazing but only if it actually works. If my moan hasn’t already made it obvious, you can rest assured that if The Challenge Factor bring new and exciting technology to your next conference or event it will have been tested, re-tested and then checked again so that you can be confident it will add to the success of the day, not leave you frustrated with pieces of ‘plastic’ that don’t work.
We love being innovative with technology and relish a new challenge, so get in touch and see what we can do for you. If it can be done, we’ll do it… with style!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, our website is set to rescale on mobile devices, phew!