Technology for Dummies
THE “DEATH TOUCH” is easy to spot. In fact, everyone knows at least one person currently suffering from this distinct, in-born malady. Its unmistakable symptoms render the afflicted party unable to move, fiddle with or handle a piece of technological equipment in any way without breaking, freezing, deprogramming or otherwise harming it.They probably shouldn’t even stand near that new flat-screen TV. Can’t be too careful.
In the past, the Death Touch was terminal. However, with an influx of easy-to-operate functions on devices that were once off-limits, those with the Death Touch are able to live normal, healthy and technologically fulfilling lives. Now, distributors and end-users alike can demonstrate and appreciate high-tech promotions, without fear.
Lesson 1: Design Directives
User-friendliness starts at a item’s infancy. “When we design a new product, we always factor in two things: It has to be ‘idiot-proof’ and it should consistently offer the user the same experience,” said Ahmad Aqqad, vice president and managing director of Kent, Washington-based JMTek-CorporateKey. Since intuitive operation is key with any promotion, a methodical design process is essential. “We find that most products simply need to be logically thought-out,” explained Nate Bettinger, manager of sales and marketing for Chicago-based Pingline.
The result? Aqqad noted the company’s digital photo frames require bare-minimum operation. “With just one click, you can operate five different features,” he said. Plus, instruction manuals are always useful add-ons. One-step programming (drag-and-drop, plug-and-play) is also a major factor in usability. “Our MP3 players will play any MP3 file, so you don’t need to use software to convert songs,” Bettinger said, adding, “Our photo frames will play images straight off the [memory] card that you pull out of your camera.”
As far as inherently easy-to-use products go, USB drives, digital photo frames and MP3 players are always good choices for beginners. ›››