Convenience can mean loss of accomplishment
Technology is aimed at making things easier for us. In fact, many a time technology has made human involvement almost obsolete, except for process initiation and result collecting. While this greatly enhances productivity and allows people to focus on important tasks, whether at home or at work, convenience being one of the big buzz words in that respect.
Look at the food industry, for example.
The biggest simplification has been achieved by pre-packaged, ready-to-eat food products. Involvement is basically reduced to open the packaging and pushing the button of the microwave / add hot water. Not exactly tasks that require much skill, and you’re not really proud of or much aware of the results. It is actually so convenient that it loses importance, even the act of eating (and value of the actual product if you are not careful). Of course the aim of cup noodles and microwave meals is to blend into the background, so they’re doing it right. But if your product has to achieve a level of value, think about to which degree you leave out your client and especially to which level you want to make it convenient, advises Morinosuke Kawaguchi.
It’s good to not go all the way sometimes, he says.
According to him, a good example of how to do it right is the Japanese curry. It is easy to make, but actually not too easy. You still have to prepare the meat and chop vegetables and fry them. The sauce and taste – usually the most time-consuming part – comes from the pre-packaged curry mixes. The result? A sense of accomplishment, that you actually contributed to a result that looks and tastes pretty much like a real homemade meal. The key is the integration of (even just a little) involvement and skill to result in that sense of accomplishment. This is the feeling you might want to instill in your clients when they use your product. A certain level of skill as opposed to just a menial, impersonal task that seriously reduces the (emotional) value of your product.
Kawaguchi recommends you to think about how to transfer this concept to your product, your service or even to increase job satisfaction.