I stopped off to get some gas and found myself spending way too much time analyzing the user interface, trying to figure out how to pump my gas. I don't want to sound so negative but gas pumps rank right up there with Adobe products, when it comes to non-intuitive UI. At first glance, the UI was comprised of two areas. One, there was a monochrome screen with four button on either side. I've seen this layout at other gas pumps so I was ready for visual queues to come from that. The other area was a 16 button keypad. Fortunately, there was a slot for me to insert my credit card, otherwise, I think I would have just driven to another gas station. The problem started 10 seconds after I inserted my credit card. It actually took roughly 10 seconds for each action to be registered on the screen, leaving me feeling frustrated throughout the process.
Here comes the comparison. Simple processes like buying your gas should not be this painful. The same goes for your business processes. Don't put so much emphasis on things that you're not going to need. They become wasteful distractions. In the case of the gas pump, the most important steps of the process were hard to locate and navigate. I wasted a lot of time just trying to figure out how to do the next step, when I already knew what I needed to do. On the gas pump, the two unassuming buttons were critical to move forward in the process but weren't even in my line of sight. You need to think about this when customizing your business processes. Standards (and processes) are good, as long as they provide value, either by increasing quality or lowering risk.