Monday, 13 June 2011

why not insult your consumer in the instruction manual.

I bought a window mount for the sat nav in the car.  It's a plastic sucker thingy with an arm that extends from the windscreen.  It takes about 30 seconds to assemble the parts, clip on and enjoy the Sunday drive.  The USER MANUAL for this device has 8 languages. 8! each chapter identical to the next in illustration spans 10 pages and features handy comments like 'position cradle to your linking' and 'when finished with the device, remove it'.  OHMYGOD! we're driving a car and despite the occasional idiot on the road, most of us have the skill and control to manage a motor vehicle.  This isn't for the challenged. Yet the folk at Belkin (maybe under the instruction of a HR and Health and Safety Legal quango dept) have decided to insult the intelligence of their consumers with the instruction manual.  These guys aren't alone.  I had a friends who told me once his kettle came with a manual that read CAUTION: THIS DEVICE GETS VERY HOT.  Oh and there was me thinking a kettle is for keeping fish in. This is an example of poor design - shit design in fact.  The product answers a simple request from the consumer. They'll be savvy enough to work out from the box whether the product will suit their needs, yet the packaging, advice and 2 year warrenty simply distract from the very thing that will bring satisfaction.  Consumers want to 'get jobs done'. in doing so life becomes faster or easier, happier or richer. They'll thank you for it in repeat purchase. Dont insult your consumer for buying your product and dont assume they wont know how to use it. have your pressed EVERY button on your t.v. remote? There is no need to correct consumer behaviour past the point of sale. If they're doing it 'wrong' its good enough for you and that makes a 'right'.

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