I know, I know. This is not a popular thing to say, but it is honest, so brace yourselves. You, your designs, your business are not our largest priority!




Gaaaaasssspppp. What? How dare you say such a thing Elle? (Every designer and business owner is currently making a voodoo doll of my body).


voodoo doll


Let me get straight to it, because I know that even as rip roaring hysterical (yeah, I know this stuff is funny, even if you don’t want to admit it…it’s cool, it’s our little secret) as my blog posts are, this is one of six katrillion things you have to do today.



This week, while standing in the kitchen plating an after school meal for my children, my phone goes off with this alert.



Let’s quickly dissect how this app could benefit from realizing that people are busy, that we forget stuff quickly and that Powerschool (grade notification app) has a chance to build real value into their relationship with me by capitalizing on that fact.



First off, it’s 4:18 in the afternoon and this is not a good time to try to get my attention. Most people are either commuting, trying to wrap up work for the day, etc.  Maybe try sending this in the middle of the day, so that I might actually have a moment to gain my composure if this were really bad news.



I mean seriously, what if this were an F, instead of a B? (I know it’s a B, but come on, the little guy is really trying)

Powerschool, if this were an F, don’t you want me to have to time to have an emotional meltdown and then get it back together before I have physical access to my child? Are you trying to deliver grades or death sentences? 🙂



Secondly, what does this even mean? Cash’s Reading  1-2 (A) Q3 grade is now B?

My first thought: Ok, it’s about my son. I know, because it says Cash, that, or my money is going to school without telling me about it. I have been wondering where it’s all going. Alright so I surmise that we are talking about my little dude, that’s a step in the right direction.



2nd: Wait, seriously, are we in Q3 already? How can that be? OMG, how many days do I have left until those little monkeys are off for the summer? See how easy it is to lose our attention?



Next: What is 1-2 (A)? Does that mean that he had an A and now he has a B or is that some secret class code from the teachers that I don’t get at all? I feel like that blonde in Clueless. Somebody, help. #momfail



Last: I ask, “Cash, what was your reading grade last quarter?”

He looks at me like, “What the heck is a quarter? Do you mean the large shiny silver things all over the bottom of your purse?



The point is, this could be improved A LOT with a very small set of changes.

1st: Send it during the day, maybe in the mid morning so that parents can actually process what they are seeing before their children come home. You know, help a kid out.



2nd: Simply state what the last quarter grade was, then what this one is, so that this information is actually valuable to me. It could simply say:

‘Cash’s Reading Grade Q2 Was A. His Q3 Grade is B’. (Insert parent freaking out because of grade drop, children crying because their parents took away privileges, etc) Oh, maybe that’s just in our house. I digress. 🙂



The point is that the way that it is currently being delivered is just a feature, but with a few tweaks, it could add actual value to my life.

I assume that Powerschool intends for me to use this information to monitor my child’s progress, but one piece of information without the other does not accomplish the goal.



People are busy. We forget stuff. I bet half of us can’t remember what we had for breakfast two days ago or which pajamas you wore to bed.



As designers and business owners, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your customers are just sitting around waiting to see a feature from you. Instead, provide them with a value based service (telling me what my son’s performance is now compared to what it was last quarter) that helps them to connect with your brand and want to invite you back into their lives.



I hope you guys can see how each ‘feature’ is an opportunity to establish a connection with your customers. The take away is to remember that people are forgetful by nature. We are all moving at the speed of light and we don’t have time to try to figure out how or if you are offering something important to us.

Clarify the message. Build in the value. Grow your brand.



That’s it. Have a great week everybody.



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