Monday, January 29, 2007

Like the iPod, New Industries Are Being Spawned...But This Time by Terrible User Experience


Last night on 60 Minutes there was a segment called, "Get Me The Geeks!" that had commentary by Donald Norman and David Pogue. Robert Stephens talks about how he founded Geek Squad because people are having such a terrible experience managing new technologies. His customers are not just older folks or technophobes, but a wide variety of very smart, younger folks who think they can do it themselves and can't:


"There's the do-it-yourselfers. There's the do-it-for-me. And what we're discovering is the even bigger market of ‘I-thought-I-could-it-myself’ crowd," Stephens tells Kroft.

Dr. Norman says the technology changes so fast and the competitive pressures are so great that products are pushed into the marketplace before engineers had a chance to simplify them.


I don't agree here. I think that it is not the fault of the engineers. Fault lies at the highest levels of these corporations who do not make User Experience an important, early part of the product lifecycle.

The reality is that technology advances are going faster than the ability to easily use these products. There should be some sort of Moore's Law created for User Experience and Technology. In the story there is discussion of refrigerators talking to other appliances in your home and taking actions. How will this be designed? I think Geek Squad stock may go up before the process changes.
It's interesting how Geek Squad is promoting Microsoft Vista. They are pushing you to migrate to the upgrade and extending the hand to help you through the mess it may cause.

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