Complexity causes 50% of product returns

This is an interesting article I came across. You should get the jist from the title. I think this applies to software as much as products. Too many companies try to jam as much functionality into a piece of software that it becomes too bulky and complex which results in users avoiding it. Take Microsoft Word for example, which is the biggest piece of bloatware on the market today. What percentage of features does the average user actually use? I would guess and say 5%. I know I use very few features and avoid Word as much as possible.

Half of all malfunctioning products returned to stores by consumers are in full working order, but customers can’t figure out how to operate the devices, a scientist said on Monday.

The moral of the story should be that we make it a point to build better software with a cleaner user interface and actually make use of usability testing. I think we can take a lession from the folks at 37Signals or Google for their intuitive user interfaces. There is actually a great book called Don’t Make Me Think : A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug that takes a commonsense approach to making software intuitive and actually usable.

read more | digg story

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