The design of organisations and products
How much difference can we make to a legal process by focusing on user experience? The following is not a million miles away from an exact replica of an approval request the JC once got.
You have an OVERDUE Pending Approval in the Approval Platform.
Request-Type: Legal Sourcing
Requested by: USER ID 42093220
Approval Role: Line manager CodeX5
Login to the Approval Platform to approve.
NOTE: THIS IS AN AUTO GENERATED EMAIL. DO NOT REPLY.
Could it get the job any more wrong?
- Auto-generated: It is sent from an autogenerated account and you can’t reply to it.
- Rude: Not only is it impersonal, but actively rude: “THIS IS AN AUTO GENERATED EMAIL. DO NOT REPLY.”
- No human owner: There is no indication of who is responsible for this email. There should be a named individual in it, to whom people can complain. This might encourage that person to spend a moment on user experience. No-one will complain if it is a pleasant experience.
- Unhelpful: It contains NO useful information about the approval. It should say:
Dear Jolly [not “User”: this is not (yet!) the movie Tron Legacy, for crying out loud.]
[A human person] has requested approval for a legal invoice from [vendor] regarding [invoice title] in the sum of [dollar amount] with the following commentary: “[commentary].”
Please click [here] to approve this request, or [here] to decline it. [each url opens into the right field in the approval platform allowing for immediate approval and comment etc]
If you have any questions about this email please contact me.
Regards, [NAME] [being a human being in the logistics team.]
It isn’t hard, is it?