Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Right Tool for the Job

My Dad always insisted that we use the right tool for the job. You don't open a paint can with a screwdriver, for example. The other day my wife and I got an e-mail invitation to a birthday party. It contained a link to RSVP, but since the invitation was a pdf file (basically a picture) the link was not clickable. We couldn't copy it and paste it into our browser either. Instead, we had to type it in the browser's address bar, but it was something like " Several typos were made. Once we reached the site, there was a list of all the other attendees and, in very tiny font, a link to RSVP. But first we needed to create an account with a username and password. Instead, we went back to the original e-mail, clicked once on the Reply button and sent, "Thanks, we'll be there." Done.

That was too much work and too many steps for something that should have been simple and straightforward. And I'll bet that it took the sender longer to create the account, compose the list of addressees, write and send the message than it would have been to do it straight from her e-mail address book.

Technology can often help make things easier and it's tempting to use a new tool because it's cool and different. But don't make me jump through too many hoops. My time is precious.


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