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3 June, 2008

Broken

A study reported by The Register apparently found that the US consumer electronics industry can expect 11-20% of items to be returned to retailers as 'faulty'.  Think about that: depending on the product, up to 1-in-5 is alleged to have been sold with flaws.

Yet further analysis seems to show that of those returns, only 5% are genuinely malfunctioning (is that 5% of 11-20%, ie. 0.5-1% of all items sold?). In 68% of cases, the items function correctly but either fail to meet the customers' expectations or have been merely misconfigured. Over a quarter of returns are ascribed to customers simply changing their minds.

This may be considered to be a marketing issue, but there are implications for designers too. If, as a related study shows, the average consumer will only invest 20 minutes in configuring, say, a DVD player before totally giving up and returning the item as 'faulty', that can't be entirely dismissed as customers being lazy: there's an interface problem. Yes, the average customer may well be lazy – so design for lazy customers, not fellow interface designers.

Comments

now,now. next you'll be saying Flash isn't the ideal web delivery platform.

Posted by Saltation at June 8, 2008 09:09 PM
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