Giving Them what They Want
If you are on Windows 7, 8, or 10, open an instance of File Explorer, and type "size:" without the quote marks into the search box you'll get the following message box to help you select a file size to search for.
At first glance, in a day in age where small, inexpensive hard drives are measured in Terabytes (TB), and those fill up quickly, it seems almost absurd that a "Gigantic" file size is only a mere 128 MB in an operating system as new as Windows 10. It gives the impression of a lazy coder in Microsoft who couldn't be bothered to update some legacy code; however, is that really the case?
A quick glance through your own files will quickly reveal that most of your files will easily fall within this range of data. One of the things we do at Bennett Automation Solutions is keep a daily activity log filled with screenshots and detailed solutions for troubleshooting tricky problems. The largest file I have, packed full of screenshots, is only 4 MB large. Photos also easily fall into this range and most word or excel documents are under 100 Kilobytes (KB).
What many would write off as a laughable mistake is in fact a deliberate choice based on the usage of the average end user! A long time friend and mentor of mine loved to tell me the following adage: "Just because you can do something (with a program), doesn't mean you should do something!" It's a lesson that took a long time for me to appreciate, but one I ultimately took to heart.
At Bennett Automation Solutions, we recognize that just as important as giving a client a good product is giving them a useful product. It doesn't matter how amazing an end product is if it's filled with unnecessary bells and whistles then in the end what was delivered to a client is an overpriced and bloated system. I've yet to meet the client who is happy about a system filled with things they don't want, especially when they had to pay for those.
To that end, here are three quick tips for providing your clients with the best system for them.
1. Talk to the Client
An active line of communication with your client truly cannot be understated. My father liked to point out that when God wanted to stop the greatest construction project of all time, He did it by making everyone unable to communicate with each other. A project's specifications documents can only get you so far; if you want the job done right then make sure you talk with the client in detail about the project early and often.
2. Give them what they really need
Back in my youth I had a band teacher who liked to tell us that the right note perfectly played with the perfect pitch is still just a wrong note if you play it at the wrong time. When you talk with the client listen closely to what they are truly wanting to accomplish and then give that to them. It's even better if they have an existing system that they will discuss with you so you can find out the things they liked and disliked about it. As professional integrators it's our job to figure out what the client truly wants and to deliver that to them.
3. Don't be afraid of some bells and whistles
It's one thing to include a bunch of bells and whistles that cost a client their hard earned income when they don't need those features. It's an another thing entirely to provide extra components that are both useful and included with the system. The difficult part is to find the delicate balance between making these features accessible without having them crowd out the essential features that the client specifically asked for.
We hope these tips give you something to think about as you plan out your next project and good luck!