8 April 2007

Consumer technology: is “ease-of-use” a myth?

Be the first to share

Ease-of-use
A panel recently discussed the growing problems with product design features vs. the cry for “make it easy to use” and where designers and developers have to address this issue to win back consumers.

Speakers were Bill Moggridge, founder of IDEO; BJ Fogg, founder of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab; John Paczkowski, senior editor of AllThingsD.com of the Wall Street Journal; and Tim Plowman of Intel’s Digital Health Group.

The forum, which took place on 4 April, was presented by the MIT Club of Northern California, the Stanford Center for Longevity, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, and SmartSilvers Alliance.

EETimes Online has posted an excellent article about the presentation entitled “Ease-of-use crisis: Designers or ‘feature creeps’?”.

A panel of experts on “ease of use” whose experience ranges from technology design to behavioral psychology agreed rather ruefully Wednesday (April 4) that one of the most complicated challenges in electronic engineering is simplicity.

Their conclusions echoed the irony of one audience member—an attorney with Silicon Valley law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati—who defined “technology” as “something that doesn’t quite work yet.”

Panelist B.J. Fogg, a psychologist who founded Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab, summarized the issue by saying that “every possibility you add to an interface increases your likelihood of failure” in the marketplace.

Tim Plowman, a professor who has studied human behavior at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Clara University, addressed the basic issue of convincing designers to devise interfaces that are intuitively accessible to users of all ages and levels of technical sophistication. “It is much, much harder,” he said, “to achieve simplicity in interaction design.”

Bill Moggridge, founder of IDEO, a firm that designs user-centered products and services, noted that older users are slower to adapt to electronic device complexity because older users are more complex themselves, with “more things on our minds.” He said, “Among us wrinklies, it’s less likely that we’ll get it right away, unlike younger people.”

Read full story

Be the first to share
26 March 2015
Gov.uk’s open policy making toolkit – practical guidance on ethnography and more
The Gov.uk open policy making toolkit is a practical guide to techniques that can help you make better policy. The toolkit, which brings together the latest techniques to improve making and delivering policy, is based on …
24 March 2015
Presentations online of IEA energy efficiency behaviour workshop
The 11th and 12th of March, the International Energy Agency [IEA] in Paris hosted a workshop on energy efficiency and behaviour in the buildings sector. The goal of this workshop was for representatives from IEA …
22 March 2015
Why face-to-face contact matters in our digital age
Psychologist Susan Pinker on the importance of face-to-face contact in our era of disbanded families and virtual connections. "Research shows that people who feel socially disconnected are at a greater risk of dying young – especially …
16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years
Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare …
12 March 2015
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations by Cass R. Sunstein Yale Journal on Regulation January 17, 2015 50 pages Is nudging unethical? Is choice architecture a problem for a free society? This essay defends seven propositions: It is pointless to …
7 March 2015
Why most customer experience efforts fail
It is no secret among Customer Experience (CX) professionals that most CX efforts fall flat. Forrester found that only 25% of CX professionals say their companies’ CX programs actually improve customer experience, and Avaya recently …
4 March 2015
UX for technology used by an ageing population
The trend of an ageing population is reflected across Europe. It is estimated that by 2035 nearly a quarter of the population in the United Kingdom will be over 65 years. Ageing is traditionally associated …
1 March 2015
Italian bank offers user-friendly home security kit
The Smart Care unit of the insurance arm of the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has just launched an innovative home security offering. Branded "ACasaConMe" [AtHomeWithMe], the service combines a personalized insurance package and a security kit …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

See all articles