This weekend has brought a few reminders for L&D (well, actually, any web-powered service provider) from difficult experiences for two of the biggest players – Amazon and the BBC.
- If your service isn’t working, communicate. Amazon UK and, apparently, Germany have been down at times today. At the same time, irrelevant tweets have been posted by Amazon UK – rather than anything explaining the problem. If you own a webpage I’d say you really need to support it via Twitter, if you are a global company that should really be 24/7 support.
- Integrated systems are not always best. I noticed the Amazon UK problems from Prime Video not being accessible on my PS3 – that a failure can impact video, retail site and phone users is pretty terrible service. This raises some interesting questions for L&D about putting all your content through one interface or taking a safer approach of spreading the risk between, say, LMS, video, assessment and communication apps.
- Don’t go for a big push if you’re not sure the system can handle it. Obviously, for Amazon to be down in major European markets, there has been some kind of catastrophe failure/attack. However, you have to wonder how much of an impact Amazon’s recent pushing of Prime Video has had, for example, I accidentally opted in to a month trial when buying DVDs recently. For the rest of us, it reminds us how gradual roll outs can often be a better move than ‘big and loud’.
- Get the users involved. The new BBC mobile homepage has predictably led to a lot of negative comments. Whilst you can never please everyone, it does feel a little like trying to surface click-bait BBC content rather than helping surface top content and navigate to key areas.
- Scroll of death. An issue that has cropped up with many LMS systems over the years – the new homepage seems to encourage scrolling over more intelligent navigation.
- Just For Me. A lack of personalization/customization seems to encourage bookmarking of your personal interest topics rather than coming through home.
- Images at your peril. Especially on mobile, space and time are precious – the forcing of images (especially when they often do not add anything to a piece of content) is just not helpful in my eyes. Sure, if the image has a purpose then use one (for example, the car camera of the Taiwan Plane) but don’t use templates that add images just for the sake of it.