Does the Smoke Detector Make a Distinctive, but Natural Chirp?
Did the chirping sounds emanating from the walls come from a cricket, the smoke detector, or a carbon monoxide detector? We can build devices that sound when their batteries die and thermostats set for 5 AM, but many smart devices frustrate customers, says Dr. Don Norman, an expert on innovation and usability from Northwestern University. Often smart devices are neither "predictable" nor "understandable," and this disappoints people, Norman says.*
To ensure that smart devices behave in a predictable and understandable way, designers must seek feedback from customers as they design products and again after they launch the products, advises Norman. All product designers should make "predictable" and "understandable" products.
DESIGNING PRODUCTS THAT ARE "PREDICTABLE" AND "UNDERSTANDABLE"
Becoming "predictable" means designing products that:
Becoming "understandable" means designing products with:
Identify the problem your new product will address, and ask prospects how they now solve this problem. Design to address limitations in the current solution. Watch employees and prospects use your prototype, and solicit feedback on how the prototype works. Then, survey customers after they have used the product for a while. Ask how much operator intervention the product requires. Winett Associates can help your company query customers and prospects to explore their current practices and their responses to new products.
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