It's amazing how things stick around. Once something becomes the subconscious standard, the norm that we all plan on (or around), it fades into the background of our busy-ness. Only when we bump into these things as inconveniences or escape them for a time do we realize how unnecessary & limiting they are.
1. Voicemail instructions. Nearly every time I leave someone a voicemail, a very nice lady instructs me to leave a message after the tone, to hang up when I'm finished or to press a button for another menu. Just beep already! I can understand instructions for the menu of additional options, but I think we can accept voicemail as a part of the fabric of life. We can crush candy, post crazy cat videos & FaceTime. I think we have voicemail covered.
2. Immediate email list popup. Ok businesses, I know this is a little tricky. In this quick-click world you can't count on extended engagement with your website & you could lose your new user forever. The norm I've noticed though is that the popups are immediate & seem a little, well, needy. We can't even view the content that led us to your site before you're asking to be best friends forever. This is like someone asking you for your phone number before they even have your name. Let me get to know you, see what we have in common & for heaven's sake make me laugh or think or smile before I give up my digits (er, email).
3. Lines! These are everywhere. I don't recommend counting the number of lines you stand in each week. The unlikely leader quietly abolishing the ubiquitous line: Chipotle. Their beautiful, seamless app makes the experience easy & breezy. As a bonus: I start thinking about my delicious & nutritious bowl from the moment I order it, psyching myself up for the enjoyment of it. We literally convince ourselves to have a delightful food moment which in turn drives more business back to Chipotle. Warning! Once you've tasted this speedy phone-to-table food experience symptoms of impatience & feeling spoiled are likely to occur at the UPS Store, dry cleaners, RedBox, doctor's office, Chick-fil-A or anywhere else you stand in line to place or pay for an order! (Kudos to Starbucks, Panera & Instacart for joining this mission!)
Each of these represents opportunities: moments for new solutions, products and services to emerge, capture our attention & edge out the outdated. These are clear invitations for new players to join the game.
What other things am I missing?