COVID-19 has converted every extrovert into an introvert overnight. No physical contact, no bar scene, no touching, no 1-on-1 basketball, no group conversations, nothing is the same.
If you suspect I’m extrovert, you’re right! And I’m quickly learning the struggles that we extroverts are adjusting to an introverts daily routine. The crappy AI’s trying to answer my questions, the terrible experience and interfaces required for me to order food (both from restaurants and food chains alike). Getting delivery notices that my package will be late the day it’s due, blah, blah, blah. I knew it was bad, being that I’m a researcher, but I didn’t experience the frustration.
Quoting Plato, “Necessity is the mother of invention. A need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet the need or solve the problem.”
I see two creative efforts emerging from this 6″ distance lifestyle. These service offerings will have tons of money and research thrown at it in the next few weeks which will improve our experience design offerings. “Curbside service” and the “no-touch experience” service offerings.
There’s nothing new to Curbside Services as a service. Many large companies, like Target and Walmart, were way ahead of the pandemic by offering curbside services. Their mobile experiences are tolerable and are often forgotten when you see your attendant walking over with your purchases. A recent US News story shows a spike companies embracing this service. Nearly everyone is jumping on the bandwagon!
And if you’ve been veggin-out on television as I have, you’ll notice nearly every pizza franchise offering free delivery service, AND a no-we-didn’t-touch-your-pizza-before-we-put-it-in-the-box service too. Cheesy (pun intended) or not you’ve got to say the pandemic is forcing big companies to be nimble.
This leads to the new No Touch service offering. Years ago, a doctor wouldn’t wear gloves while giving you a physical. As times have changed so did their approach and doctor’s started wearing gloves more than ever.
While I’m intrigued by the no-touch approach, I’m not 100% sold it’s not touched. For example, how does it go from the truck to the freezer, then to the oven, then to the box to be delivered to you in? As an experience designer, (and an absolute snobby bastard at times,) I’d love to see how this happens. One quick commercial demonstrating such and you might gain my confidence. But for now, I’m going to keep the thought of the doctor wearing gloves to inspect my doughy parts.
Forget about going back to normal. Instead, embrace this new lifestyle and use it to your advantage and design for those that are less considered. The minority will always make up the majority.