Jason Putorti: Why Experience And Design Matters More Than Features

Most consumers in the end don’t necessarily care about features, they want experiences. The Automobile market is an excellent example of that. I drive a Saab. I don’t know what’s under the hood, but it’s a pretty fast car and is sufficiently anti-establishment for me to drive.

The leather seats are nice, too.

Mobile phones are also statements of personality, and what kind experience the user expects.

I shudder every time I hear a commercial about a mobile phone. One of them was boasting about the incredible speed and power, and it sounded like it was written by a bunch of engineers. My mom wouldn’t care. I didn’t buy an iPhone 4 for it’s incredible speed, but it is a statement that I care about the iPhone 4 ¬†experience.

From Jason Putorti:

The extranormal guy talking about features still thinks that the consumer actually cares about them, and that's often the mindset of an engineer. Engineers are very interested in making the impossible, possible- and a device and feature are expressions of that possibility. Designers focus, or at least they should, on empathy with real people, and how to use the available technology to create a solution that delights them and solves their problem.

Funny aside, there's an important insight in this clip: the cell phone market, like many other technology markets, has become an  experience market. This is why the consumer asking for the iPhone over and over again for reasons unknown makes absolutely no sense to our techie, who thinks feature parity or supremacy matters. The reason for this seemingly irrational desire of course, is the experience- that's what the consumer is after.

An example of a technology cemented firmly in the possible? QR Codes. Engineers have figured out how to pack a lot of data into a small image, but no designer has yet figured out how to make the experience around QR codes useful. SXSW had them on badges last year, and made a big push to get people using their scanner app, and they were notably absent this year. Engineering the technology alone doesn't make something useful or usable by the mainstream. The Segway strikes me as another cemented in the "possible".

Read on…

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