July 2011by Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D.
There are legendary stories about Steve Jobs’ obsession with “one button” designs in order to ensure Apple products are simple, intuitive, and easy to use. Complex product interfaces are just not an option at Apple. Which has served them — and arguably consumers — quite well.
Over the years, we’ve assessed customer reactions to a lot of medical products and health programs that are overloaded with features and hard to use. Invariably, customers complain. They feel the manufacturers or program developers don’t understand them, because if they did, what they develop would be much simpler and intuitive.
Here are five diagnostics to determine if your development process is product-centric or customer-centric:
1. Are you insisting on simplicity?
2. Are you giving your engineers/developers sufficient customer input?
3. How easy is it for your customers to figure out your product or program?
4. Can customers immediately show someone else how the interface works?
5. Do customers smile when they use it?
If you are leaning toward product-centric, step back and start with zero-based thinking to achieve simplicity. I challenge you to make the equivalent of a “one button” design for whatever you are producing.
Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D., M.P.H.
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