The User Interface - Are You Making The Most Of Yours?
Issue 1: Design Can Make or Break Your Product
What first strikes you about any electronic device, whether it is a stereo amplifier, photo-copier, laboratory or test equipment, is the control panel or user interface. Most people react emotionally on first viewing – "I like it" or " I don’t like it". You have either just pre-sold your product, or you have turned your customer off.
In today’s instant gratification culture with the 10-second sound bite and the 3-second web page scan, emotions and opinions are formed on the most fleeting snippets of information. Value judgements are made and all information subsequently gathered serves only to reinforce the original perception. Thus, if you don’t get immediate buy-in from your prospective customers, you face an uphill battle trying to overcome their initial prejudice.
Today, marketers know that the world will not beat a path to your door if they don’t know about it, nor will they come if the design leaves them cold. If you don’t appeal to the buyer's emotion, if you don’t create a feeling of "I like it, I want it!" you are restricting your buying influences to the strictly rational and the logical, which by themselves do not create a strong reason to buy. But when you have an emotional buy-in, the supporting rational and logical arguments create an unshakeable desire to buy.
To make the emotional connection with customers you must appeal to their senses. For electronic devices the priority is visual, tactile and audible. You appeal to the visual, tactile and auditory senses through the design of the product.
Design is the hook that lures customers in. Design can make or break a product, but even excellent design cannot compensate for the problems of an ill conceived or poorly executed product. Good design will integrate, reflect and express the function of the product. It cannot be tacked on after the product has been put in a box. It is not simply a matter of asking your designers and engineers to "make it look pretty". Design is a process that begins with the concept of the product and it must evolve as the concept develops.
Beyond appearance come the touchy-feely aspects. A product has to look good, but it must also feel good. Your customers will evaluate the texture and the tactile qualities of your product. Does it feel cold and hard or warm and inviting? If they see and "feel" quality on the outside they will assume there is quality on the inside. And vice versa, if they think you have skimped on the outside where it is obvious, what must you have skimped on the inside where all is hidden? Don't believe it? Ask yourself why car manufacturers pay close attention to the grain of their leather and vinyl, or why Mercedes-Benz "engineers" the sound of their doors closing and the way their turn signal stalk feels.
In Summary: “Most people react emotionally on first viewing–"I like it" or " I don’t like it." Thus, if you create an emotional buy-in, the supporting rational and logical arguments create an unshakeable desire to buy. To make the emotional connection with customers you must appeal to their senses. For electronic devices the priority is visual, tactile and audible. Design is the look that lures the customer in and can make or break your product.”
In the next issue, we’ll discuss how to begin the design process and the important questions you need to be asking yourself in order to market your product successfully.
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|May 05, 2010||Issue 1: Design Can Make or Break Your Product|
|May 05, 2010||Issue 2: How do you begin the design process?|
|May 05, 2010||Issue 3: Who Should do the Design and What Are the Current Technologies?|
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