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Disruption, I’ll give you Disruption

Build something I can operate! Dammit!

I had to go to the local courthouse (filing a DBA for all you wags out there) and parked on the surface lot nearby. There was a Pay by Space machine. I walked up and to begin with, its was at my waist level (probably requirement for Disabled). I couldn’t properly read the screen.

Second, it was a bright sunny day. The screen was virtually impossible to see. Third, what instructions there were had be written by someone who had no clue how to use the machine. And don’t get me started on the keypad. Human fingers can’t make it work. I swear.

As I stood there a rather imposing gentleman walked up and began to explain how to use the machine. It turned out he was a member of a local gang and had spent a lot of time at the courthouse and had fumbled his way though the device. His instructions were clear, crisp, and exact. I asked him if he needed a job. He said he might in 4 to10 if the jury didn’t buy his act.

It is possible I am a luddite and can’t figure out how to use common appliances. After all, the time on my VCR is flashing “12:00”.  But shouldn’t I be the test case. Granted the courthouse machine was probably 3 years old, but please, it shouldn’t be so hard to figure out.

I love single space meters, at least those old ones where you put in a quarter and get an hour’s parking. The new ones are relatively easy, select the amount of time, insert and remove credit card, you are good to go. Also, if parking is free, it tells you right on the screen.  Easy peasy.

Multi space meters can do too much. I want to park for parking, not buy a pass on the bus, or a ticket for the zoo, or launch Elon Musk’s latest car into orbit. I want something simple, quick and easy.

Take the new machine. Set it up in a parking lot in the bright sun. Put it at the height it will be when installed. And then give me no instructions before I walk up and let me try to use it. Oh, and have five people standing behind me tapping their feet making comments about old fogies. Trade shows, your office or my office don’t count. Better yet, ask your my 80 year old granny to use it. No, that won’t work, she’s porbably a wiz on social media and her iPhone.

You get the point.  If you want to disrupt this industry, make a P and D that I can operate.

I’ll have more to say about the complexities of the equipment we foist on an unsuspecting public and unsuspecting parking attendants later. Stay tuned.

JVH

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