Comparing product design and websites, Godin points out the number of steps a toaster requires the user to complete in order eat. Did the designer ever stop to think about the effort?
We recently acquired what might be the worst toaster in the history of the world. It's pretty fancy and shiny and microprocessor controlled. And it makes toast.
But there's what I have to do to use it:
1. Choose the number of slices, and bagel or bread.
2. Remember whether it counts the slices from the left or the right (the left).
3. Insert the bread.
4. Push down the handle.
5. Choose toast or defrost.
6. Make sure the darkness level is right. (This doesn't count, because it usually is).
7. Press on.
8. Wait till it beeps.
9. Lift the handle I pressed in #4.
10. Turn it off.
Most toasters, of course, consist of steps 3 and 4 only.
Niti Bhan focuses on offering strategic insight for growth opportunities and revenue generation in the rapidly evolving interstitial space between design and business. Her 15 years of experience include employers such McCann Erickson Worldwide, Hewlett Packard India, The Second City and most recently, the Institute of Design. She is an engineer and an MBA whose most significant achievement in the field of design has been dropping out of two graduate design programs on two continents in two centuries - the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and the Institute of Design, Chicago. Her areas of interest are business intelligence and trends, business strategy as well as creating a compelling user case for design as force for increasing value.