The Rise of Simplicity in Product Design and Customer Relationships

Daniel Eran Dilger posted a review of why Microsoft’s Zune music player has failed, and will continue to fail. In his piece, he had one nugget that speaks to the new relationship between producers and consumers:

“Microsoft doesn’t seem to understand the engineering art of leaving things out. Instead of making tough choices, the company just loaded in apparent features that did very little.”

So many products seem to adhere to the classic “more is better” view of design. Give people more for their money. However, Apple and others have embraced the idea that people actually want a simple product that solves a problem for folks in an really easy to use manner.

As the “digital lifestyle” becomes more common among your average friend of family member, they are becoming more sophisticated in understanding which features are truly useful, and which are broken solutions that were tacked on as an afterthought.

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