Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Gadgets are too complicated

According to this story, half of all electronics returns work, but the gadget was so complicated people could not figure out how to use it.
Trudy Schuett's top-of-the-line car stereo is so complicated that she hasn't figured out how to change the radio station. She only learned how to work the CD player when her minister, riding in the passenger seat, started pushing buttons and stumbled on the right combination. And forget setting the car clock - she has more important things to do than pull out the owner's manual and hunt for the instructions. She also has an MP3 player she doesn't use, and a digital camera that sits mostly idle because she has to relearn how it works each time she wants to use it.

"I am not an idiot or a technophobe," insists Mrs. Schuett, a resident of Yuma, Ariz., who says some of the useless gadgets belong to her husband or were given to her as gifts. "I have had a computer since the mid-'80s and have been online since 1995. I maintain and repair my own computer system."
The article states the consumers like to buy gadgets with lots of features, but then struggle to manage the complexity that entrails. There is certainly some truth to that, but I challenge folks out there to try and buy a black-and-white cell phone, with no camera. I'm not sure there is one on the market -- certainly there is no cell phone with the grace of the old four-button Nokias.


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