Reuters - AMSTERDAM -- Half of all malfunctioning products returned to stores are in full working order, but customers can't figure out how to operate the devices, a scientist said on Monday.
Product complaints and returns are often caused by poor design, but companies frequently dismiss them as "nuisance calls," Elke den Ouden found in her thesis at the Technical University of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands.
A wave of versatile electronics gadgets has flooded the market in recent years, ranging from MP3 players and home cinema sets to media centers and wireless audio systems, but consumers still find it hard to install and use them, according to den Ouden.
She also found that the average consumer in the U.S. will struggle for 20 minutes to get a device working before giving up.
Product developers, brought in to witness the struggles of average consumers, were astounded by the havoc they created.
Den Ouden also gave new products to a group of managers from consumer electronics company Philips Electronics NV, asking them to use them over the weekend. The managers returned frustrated because they could not get the devices to work properly.
She said most of the flaws found their origin in the first phase of the design process -- product definition.
- Accelerating Cloud Deployment and Operations with Managed Services Companies that do not have sufficient in-house expertise to either deploy or maintain an IaaS cloud should turn to Managed Service Providers .
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- Simplifying Product Design In A Complex World Product design engineering has moved far beyond the confines of ever-more powerful workstations. Companies can't afford to restrict projects to using only local...
- A Reference Architecture for the Internet of Things The aim of this is to provide Architects and Developers of IoT projects with an effective starting point that covers the major requirements...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!