Week 7 Assignment: Service Envy

15 11 2009

attOur assignment was to propose a way to create “service envy” on AT&T’s mobile applications developer site. Like other mobile providers, AT&T has a site for developers to create and sell applications across platforms for phones that AT&T distributes. Competitor websites include:
Verizon Droid, Motodev, Apple Developer and Intel.

“Designing Interactions” defines “service envy” as creating services that help people tell one another who they are. “Our major challenge is to enable people to express who they are through the use of services instead of through ownership of things. We must create service envy” (Moggridge, 2009).

The current AT&T developer site seems to have all the necessary information and tools, but the presentation is bland and lacks personality. It gives the impression that the developer platform was an afterthought. It’s also not clear where a developer is supposed to start on the site. It takes some clicking around to get the gist of the developer process. One user commented, “I want transparency, status and tracking of my submitted application from submission to approval.”

I suggest that AT&T redesign the site with a greater focus on the developers themselves. The site needs to better serve as a portal that gives clear steps for developers who are creating and selling applications. The site should be focused more on the developer and where he or she is in the development process. This process needs to be broken down into user-friendly steps. For example, the Apple iPhone development program describes an easy step-by-step process: 1. Develop 2. Test 3. Distribute.

To create service envy, the site should elevate and promote the importance of these developers. The site should position developers as key to the great experiences that customer’s have with AT&T phones. The site should make the developers feel like they have an important role in this process of getting apps to customers. As such, the site should also include case studies of the best apps that have been developed. A case study would include a short feature of the developer, including his or her photo and the idea behind the app, as well as testimonials from customers who love the app. For example, a case study about a finances app would include information about the developer and his idea, as well as a testimonial from a small business owner who uses the app to manage his company’s finances. Another one would include a testimonial about a teen who obsessively uses her smartphone and loves a particular entertainment app.

The revamped site will create service envy by recognizing the developers who create and distribute apps for AT&T as the brains behind the magic and show them the positives effects that their apps have on customers’ lives.




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