Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For mature audiences only...

You would think that with all the baby boomers retiring that companies could figure out how to solve some of the problems of the older generation. Often they solve one problem but introduce another one.

Case in point:

My friend's father lives on the East Coast in a retirement home. His dad is doing fairly well, but has some disabilities associated with his age. In particular, he's hard of hearing and so can't enjoy his music.  My friend bought him a set of headphones which did a great job of solving the hearing problem: his dad really liked the sound quality and wanted to get them.

Unfortunately, the remote controller that came with the device (which is important for folks like his dad who no longer are as spry as they used to be) had control buttons so small that it was completely unusable.

When are designers going to look at the whole picture, rather than taking a myopic view and introducing more problems? Reminds me of what Geoffrey Moore called the whole product in his landmark book, "Crossing the Chasm" or the idea of empathic design.

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