If you could put out an industry SOS, how would you fill in the blanks: CONTENT CREATORS OF THE WORLD, PLEASE STOP WITH THE _______. THE INDUSTRY REALLY NEEDS MORE ________. Why?”
This month’s question has me pondering what we need more or less of. Like most items, I’ll have to split this into software/content and hardware. I wanted to touch on both because it is often a package deal. A beautifully implemented content package on a not-so-nice physical package doesn’t move me or anyone else on the “product.”
Let’s start with software. If I have to pin my biggest gripe about content creators, it has to be product understanding … or lack thereof. What is the purpose of the message, and why does it seem so complicated? Why did it display so quick or slow, and can’t they make it user friendly? Not all, but some you look at, I’m thinking … “What were THEY thinking?” Designs not-of-this-world doesn’t appeal to the masses when it feels the planner was from Mars. What happened to simplicity, simple messaging and attractiveness?
I was recently traveling through the airport and saw one of those hi-tech digital vending machines and decided to give it a try. New is better, right? It had to be the most challenging machine I have ever used. I had to wake the machine up, press some form of start, review product(s), select product(s) with options, and attempt to pay (with all sorts of codes and authentication). I failed miserably and moved to cash only to have it not accept my newer bills. I just shake my head sometimes. I may not be a millennial, but I do live and work in the tech world and have to assume I’m on the better part of the curve. The rule-of-thumb, keeping it simple, still holds true after all these years.
Moving to the hardware aspect, how many times do we see our favorite Windows blue-screen-of-death vandalized beyond recognition or machines so slimy I wouldn’t let anyone touch them? Who maintains these systems? It’s great if it works the first week, but what about the next months or even years? Vandalism is a problem for everyone in the industry, or any industry for that matter. We need to be conscious about understanding the environments these units will be used in and who will be operating them.
You always have to think outside of the box and about ALL aspects of the project. A designer can’t only design. He or she has to include all team members, partners and clients to create and agree on realistic goals and objectives. Treat this like any process easily done in day-to-day life, and keep it intuitive. Amazon and Apple seem to have the process down nicely or they just trained us better. Until next time, keep pushing those buttons.