How Would You Feel If…? A Hospital Example of Daily-use vs. Set-up Mode


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Imagine you go to the hospital emergency room because you think you may have broken a bone in your arm…
You arrive and:
  • The ER admissions person greets you, but then takes you through a presentation of how the hospital was built, where the funding came from, the key leadership, some of their famous customers, and their locations around the country…
  • After 15 minutes, he finally goes through the forms.
  • (Your arm hurts more and is swelling…)
After finally being admitted, you are taken to the X-Ray Department, where:
  • The ER nurse describes how to set up the X-Ray apparatus and the other imaging equipment, then discusses the network requirements and infrastructure needed to move high resolution images throughout the hospital, followed by showing you many of the nuances of the Department’s new equipment…
  • After 20 minutes, she then runs the scans.
  • (Your arm has gotten really large and hurts very, very much…)
You are taken to a room and are told that a doctor will be with you shortly.  She enters, says hello, and:
  • She logs into the hospital Electronic Health Records system, noting how easy it is set up a new doctor in the system with all of the required documentation, including current (and future) training status, specialties, hours, patients, tasks and current appointments for the day.  She shows how to add new info to the doctor’s record and how to set up a series of appointments for the next week.  She offers comments about how privacy and security are paramount and are maintained in the system, and shows how two-factor authentication works. 
  • After 25 minutes, she locates your record and reviews the completed X-Ray scans.  She concludes that you have a broken arm that needs to be set.
  • (Your arm is huge and has gone numb…)
The doctor leaves the room, noting that a nurse will be in shortly to bandage, splint and put a cast on your arm.  A few minutes later, he enters and:
  • He describes the history of bandaging, splints and casts, from medieval times to the present, followed by detailing the chemistry of how casts are formed, noting the impact of temperature, humidity and air pressure on the resulting plaster.  He then reviews the options for mixing the plaster, depending on the expected duration of use, the size and location of the cast, and finally whether the cast will be expected to support no use, occasional use, or light-continual use.
  • 30 minute later, he mixes and sets the cast on your arm.
  • (Which still hurts like hoo-ha, but the pain medication portion of this story will come another time…)
So:  How is this experience different from a demo where the presenter shows “Set-up Mode” functionality for each module, before getting to “Daily-use Mode” operation? 

For solutions on how and when to present Set-up Mode vs. Daily-use Mode, see my article

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.


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