So your product can…

This is a follow-on from my recent article about getting what you pay for (click here) – where I mentioned the concept of product ability and product use-ability and today I want to expand on that thought. Use-Ability = Ease of Use.

You see when products or services are marketed they often talk about what the product can do – its ability. Now that’s important to the customer because he has a need or desire that he is trying to fulfill by buying your product or service.

This however is also where the rubber hits the road for a lot of people – both seller and buyer -because just because your product (or service) CAN do something (ability) doesn’t mean that it is easy or intuitive to use! (Use-ability).

Bake ease-of-use into your product from the beginning!

So as business owners we are well served by trying to ensure that ease-of-use is baked right into the product or service from the beginning!

I remember, in the early days of cellphones, looking at my sisters brand new phone (an Ericsson – do you remember those?) and while it could do a LOT of stuff it had such a complicated menu structure that unless you had a degree in cellphone operation you were entirely lost!

Contrast that to the intuitive, touch-screen devices of today. I mean put any modern smartphone down in front of the average three-year old and they are off and swiping away and downloading games like it was second nature! Now that’s use-ability!

Avoid customer frustration.

Personally I can think of few things that are as frustrating as buying a product because, on the box, it says it can do this or that, but when I get it out of the packaging it turns out that actually getting it to do what I want or need is confusing or complicated – or *shudder* both!

In other words it CAN do what I need its just not easy to get it to do it – and that’s frustrating to the buyer and bad for the seller.

So, how do you make sure your product has use-ability and not just ability? For starters, test, test and then test some more!

Then, get others to test it as well and let them give you feedback – for example if I were testing a widget and I gave it to my Mom and she could use it successfully I’m probably on the right track.

Try and simplify until even those that consider themselves ‘challenged’ in the use of those type of products or services can get the desired result – and you are probably well on your way!

Make it as simple as 1..2..3 or ‘child’s play’

Take care when creating your product or service – ‘use-ability’ trumps simple ‘ability’ nearly every time!

Here’s to your business prospering!

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