In a world of economic‐downsizing, we are seeing less of everything – less merchandise on the shelves, less people to service our business, less value from our investments. As a society, we are facing individually and professionally, the need to do more with less.
When we are desperate, we often try too many things to fix what is broken, or we think any effort is progress. We are often motivated by our Quixotic belief it will be possible to find that single silver bullet to fix all that has broken. Everyone is, after all, only a lottery ticket away from the Powerball.
Sadly, the same thing happens in product design and the odds of a winning design that accomplishes everything that every customer wants are not in a product manager’s favor. Smart people are inventing technology faster than other smart people can knit it together into anything useful, valuable or economical. This is causing segments to beget niche sub‐segments, making interaction behaviors even harder to predict.
Redacting our everyday lives to meet a tighter monthly budget requires we make hard choices as consumers, but reducing is never easy once you have had a taste of more. No one wants to give up premium services or features and pay the same price for less value, but companies big and small are providing us slower response times, less durable products, low quality goods and consistent experiences because they are forced to cut back while we all aren’t spending as much anymore.
Whether 2010 is a just a low watermark for the economic tide, or it provides a persistent financial basement on which we found our future as consumers, product design teams should heed the underlying message because it holds a simple truth: economizing can be the most innovative thing a new product or service experience offers. The ones that reduce the amount of time it takes to accomplish a familiar task, eliminate redundant tasks that waste time and resources, and enable me to focus on only those tasks that really matter are always going to be at the top of my list of things I want to buy, even in harder fiscal times. How about you?
Leslie Grandy combines sixteen years in technology product marketing and development with thirteen years of previous experience in motion picture and television commercial production, to create innovative solutions that drive measurable results for both B2B and B2C companies.
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