Great products create emotional attachments. Designers who recognise this and who create that customer bond are likely to have a success on their hands. Those products are easy to market because customers (or users) respond more readily to product benefits than to product features.
Neglecting this key requirement during the product definition phase leaves too much for the marketing team to do, and creates unrealistic expectations that they will somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat.
For many years Apple fans have pointed out to detractors that the reason they love their latest Apple product is simple – “It just works”. This is a phrase which Steve Jobs repeatedly used at product announcements and it has become a generic catch-phrase to describe anything which works in a manner which doesn’t require the user to know how it works.
Steve Jobs recognised that most of us aren’t interested in what’s under the bonnet – we’re more interested in what it does for us, rather than how those clever Cupertino people managed to make it work like magic.
It’s an easy message to spread virally, and it’s positive – people like that.
But it’s just not good enough. You can’t say “It just works” and expect to leave it at that. Continue reading →