Here’s an interesting little tidbit: a recent study showed that nearly half of all products returned to stores for malfunctions worked just fine – the problem was that the users couldn’t figure out how to get them to work.
The average consumer in the United States will struggle for 20 minutes to get a device working, before giving up, the study found.
Product developers, brought in to witness the struggles of average consumers, were astounded by the havoc they created.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how cool your gadget is, how fast it is and how many bells and whistles it has the bottom line for everything is User Interface, because if the user can’t find all of that great stuff, they are just going to give up. As we get deeper into the convergence of communication, services and entertainment into single handheld devices, those who define and design those products would do well to pay attention to studies like this, or the convergence revolution could be stillborn.