The other day my morning coffee spilled all over my hand. Upon closer inspection, I found that the lid was a close, but not correct match for the cup. As to how this happened, I assume the catering company that runs my coffee shop repurposed lids from their other operation rather than buying the branded lids to match their cups. Visually, the change was imperceptible, but this minor misfit gave new meaning to my morning coffee waking me up.
I like this story because it is a great example of how seemingly small, inconsequential changes can prompt significant pain for your end users. In this case, the lid fit on the cup well enough for the powers that be to make the change. However, as a customer, I experienced metaphorical and literal pain as a direct result of the unnoticed or disregarded mismatch. At the core of this challenge is that the group making the decision to change the cup lids solved their lid problem quite admirably, but failed to consider the resulting consequences for the user.
In short, small matters matter and the viewpoint that can see which matter most isn’t inside (employees) looking out. It’s outside (customers) looking in.