In the last few years companies have been making a conscious effort to help their consumers with ever-easier to use products. I hope this is not actually a sign of the human race ‘dumbing down’, I prefer to view it as our lives quickening in pace and as such we have to get things done a lot swifter than days of old. At least I am praying that this is true!
Whatever the reason, products and services are now being marketed to us in a simplistic and minimalist fashion. Maybe Apple is to blame. The user or consumer now seemingly refuses to think or have to think about the product, and this is present across a huge number of industries:
This is one industry in which I refuse to believe that the human race is in fact becoming less intelligent – more that people want things to be easily understandable. Nobody wants to be looking at a website or a report of some sort which is supposed to tell them what they need to know… but first they have to decipher the intense maze that is said website or report! Business software needs to be easy to use. I think the word is intuitive. Training takes time, and as Gordon Gecko would probably have said (along with many business leaders real or fictional) “time is money”. Great for the SME who wants some market data but doesn’t have a specialist analyst in house who can decipher pages and pages of spreadsheet data! Huge blue chip companies like Salesforce have made their name by offering a platform that takes very little training, even for those who might struggle with more complex tasks!
Egg Specific cooking utensils
A bit abstract but a great example of humans cutting corners. I would never have guessed but there is demand for cooking utensils specifically for cooking eggs! Tiny little frying pans which do perfectly round eggs. Why not just use a normal frying pan? Because humans like getting results with the least amount of effort.
Pop up tents
Much like the egg specific utensils, there shouldn’t really be a demand for pop up tents. Tents are not hard to put up (for most people) and pop up tents are notoriously flimsy. So if and when you can take a normal tent – do so.
Going to the bank is a soul destroying experience, the queues, the horrible atmosphere, everything accumulates into an experience that you would rather forego! Thankfully the banks have hopped on board with the internet and you can now do the vast majority of your banking online. Direct debits can be set up, payments can be made, and most importantly of all you can see your balance.
So there we are, just a few examples of how companies are producing products and services that are easy to use and simple, whether that be market research data, pop up tents or online banking.