About 10 years ago I wrote a post “There’s an App for that.” Back then it seemed that no matter what I wondered about or pondered, there was an app for it. Or the promise of one coming. Whether I needed to monitor my sleep habits, automatically count calories or know if I was stressed out, an app was available.
Flash forward 10 years, now it seems there really is an app for everything. The other week I received a promotional for a free pilates class. However, I wasn’t able to register for my first, promotional class without first downloading the app and then registering. This required me to create another login and password. I found this a little bit annoying and tedious. Before I commit to creating a login and downloading a customized app I like to know if I’m going to use the service more than once. I feel this is a minimal requirement.
Last week I went to the local hospital for an ultrasound. A day or two before the appointment I received an automated text message to remind me. The text also included instructions for, you guessed it, downloading a special hospital app to check in for my appointment. I think I can also check results on the app, too. Since it’s rare for me to visit the hospital for any kind of procedure, fortunately, I didn’t download the special app.
However, when I arrived at the hospital, I was surprised at the manual effort required to register. The admin took my healthcard. Then she used a pen to handwrite my information on a piece of paper I took with me to the appointment! It’s as if processes have no middle ground anymore. As though all process inefficiencies halted to jump ahead with a slick app. This means the options are sleek, streamlined app OR clunky, manual, repetitive, and inefficient process.
I took the paper from the admin and went to the waiting room. The whole time wondering would an app have improved the experience? Would I still have received a piece of paper with my name handwritten on it?
Though I don’t have the answers to these questions, I’m sure there’s an app for that.