Humanising technology

Understanding that technology must reach out and touch lives

(A summary of my breakfast session at a Big Five consulting firm in London)

The human body is the hardware. The human mind is the software. But we need to appeal first to the human heart.

Technology that recognises this, finds immediate resonance. Communication that relates to this, finds loyal customers. Brands that respect this, find lasting relationships.

But why should we humanise technology? Because people are people. It is in our essence to consider, to share, to understand, to learn and to emote. It’s as simple and fundamental as that.

Steve Jobs once said: One of the things I’ve always found is that you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it.

Perhaps the time has come to ask these questions first. How do we turn code into emotion? How do we address a genuine consumer need with a technological solution? How do we make technology a friend, an enabler, a teacher, a confidante, a source of empowerment? How do we do all of this without making it all daunting and intimidating?

Brands that have gone beyond their product or service offering to reach out and empower customers, relate to their unspoken needs and touch their lives in meaningful ways have understood the one fundamental difference. State-of-the-art needs to go a step further to become state-of-the-heart.