Listening to Users, or not

I was in a user focus group last week for an electronic reader…and one of the issues that come up was the concern over screen scratching…

People said that if they dropped it into their bag, it would scratch. And that a case should come with the device. And that they would think twice before purchasing such a device.

And then today, I read this discusionon Core77 that asks “is it good design if it needs a case?”

But few users seem to hold off buying an iPhone…it is a gorgeous design, lust-worthy. And some people buy cases. And others do not.

So what or whom do we listen to? There is great article on the super cool lumix “toughcam” (though it looks better in orange IMHO).

Do we make tougher products look cooler? Or forget what users say and listen to what they do? Or a bit of both, as per usual? 😉


1 Response to “Listening to Users, or not”

  1. 1 Andrew July 7, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Just a few weeks ago I submitted paperwork to Apple for a ‘partial’ refund of something like $25 for my iPod Nano, bought in 2005. They sent me a card asking if the face of the Nano was scratched and if so, I was entitled to this refund. Yes, the face is scratched (in spite of the case I used on it for years). Yes, I’ll take the $$. Is it still good design? I think so, but can we design for the inevitable dings and scratches any handheld small mobile electronic device is going to collect (via say a readily refurbishable/replaceable reader screen protector built in, maybe a bio-friendly PLA plastic or somesuch). Take the user worry out of the equation without making it ‘look tough’. Just a thought…

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