The day finally came to launch the product but there was no fanfare. No big payoff. No feeling of fulfillment. It was merely a quiet launch with one beta customer. You didn’t know what to do with yourself so you sat there all day refreshing a view on the database to spy on what they were doing. Answer: not much. The things they did do, they did wrong. They found bugs. They found ways to circumvent all of your carefully constructed system rules and validations. Not because they were master hackers or brilliant technicians…but because they were just stupid. They clicked on things they shouldn’t click on. They typed things in that they shouldn’t type in. They didn’t read simple instructions. They didn’t listen in training. They were personally insulting you by being terrible at using your software.
In a field labeled “Enter the number of specimens:” they typed “five specimens.”
In a field labeled “Social Security Number:” they typed “he doesn’t have one because he is an illegal.”
Instead of using the button labeled “Create New Patient Record:” they kept changing the information in a single patient record over and over and saving it.
Then the calls came in from the sales team demanding to know why the system was broken and why you had taken so long to develop something that clearly didn’t work.
There was nothing you could do but respond to the bug reports and issue system patches that added no value other than handholding people through the software. You wondered aloud how these people had managed to survive this long without drinking bleach by accident.
Déjà vu all over. Must read.