Friday, June 16, 2006

Why do we pick the most complex devices?

There's something about the way we are wired, we want the gadget with the most features: Features = Perceived Value. But satisfaction with our gadgets is often the opposite: Simplicity = Satisfaction. These two laws are in conflict and we, as consumers, are directly to blame.

A human expirement was done recently that is very telling. The first group was asked to look at the marketing for a variety of audio/video players. Individuals in this group were asked to evaluate the number of features each device had and also evaluate how easy they felt each would be to use. The results were clear, the individuals determined that the devices with the most features were most likely going to be harder to use.

But the striking point is this: Hands down, everyone in the group said that they personally would want the device with the most features - even though they knew it would probably be harder to use.

A second group was given the actual devices to use over time. Can you guess what happened? Those who had the simpler devices were much more satisfied with their device.

So why do we think we will be happier with the most "feature rich" devices, even though the opposite is true?

Can we have both features and easy interface? Why do we keep filling our lives up with more clutter, even though we know contentment comes from being satisfied with the simple.

Here's an article with more information about the study that was done Oh, that kind of better

Good interface design? It's all about getting rid of the clutter.

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