Follow Skype's example - entrench yourself in the user process

Your customers buy and use your product to get to a goal. Your product often adds a process that makes it easier/cheaper/faster to achieve what the customer wants, let’s take as an (simplified) example Skype.


Goal: I want to place a call


Goal: I want to place a call

Skype looked beyond their own process and looked at the users process. What does a user go through when they are sitting at their desk wanting to make a call? In the old set up the user could:

·         look for a number
·         copy the number
·         paste the number in skype
·         click the skype call button

By integrating the phone numbers that can be found online with Skype they have effectively removed a middle step in the user process. The user does not have to manually dial the number into the Skype dial pad, and does not have to copy the number and paste it into Skype. In this new process the user:

·         looks for a number
·         clicks the skype call button next to the number

Skype has effectively removed two steps from the process, simplified the user experience, and engrained themselves more into the user process.

As a company, when was the last time you looked passed your own process? Is there a way you can eat away at the user process, to simplify it by integrating your product further into the user experience and process?