Monday, 2 July 2007

Zune, Iphone - Keep it Simple!

What’s the exchange rate between a Zune point and an American dollar? Equals the ratio of Unicorns to Leprechauns! (Courtesy The Office NBC)

Does anyone own a Zune? I have not seen a single person with one. If you did own one, I wonder how much value you are getting from the wireless sharing function (Not much I would guess). But I digress…
My real problem with the Microsoft Zune is the online store. The geniuses at Microsoft decided that consumers found simplicity, well…too simple. So in an attempt to hit a nice sounding price point for customers, they introduced “Zune points”.
Ok so a single track from the Zune market place cost 79 points. One Zune point equal one cent, right? WRONG! Works out one point equals 1.25 cents (roughly), (which would mean one track equals 98.75 cents, hey that’s better than itunes store – best not to market this simply to consumers – could result in increased sales!!!).
Is money as a form of exchange too simple for the geniuses over at Microsoft? KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! Seems like they forgot to run this past the Department of Common Sense. Is it just me, or does Dwight Shrutt look a little like Bill Gates?
It seems companies are getting so caught up in design simplicity, and design capabilities as the best way to deliver value to consumers. But processes have to be simple too. It must be simple to buy, activate and start using your product to.

Another culprit is Apple….
I guess we have all read about the problems that people are having trying to activate their iphones.
From what I have heard the iphone is nice to use. It doesn’t have everything (nor does the ipod) but it is user friendly on the whole. With one design flaw: it needs to be activated to be used.

Despite network connection problems (which a lot of people seem to be having) the activation process seems quite convoluted. . Buyers need access to a Mac or PC computer running Apple's iTunes software, a connection to the Apple online music store and a valid American Social Security number. Read BL's post for some good information on these problems.
Seems Apple got caught up in their design bubble and forgot about the foundations of their recent successes – Simplicity. It’s great for a product to be simple to use, but if you can’t buy it, turn it on or activate it simply, then all the nice design in the world doesn’t help Joe Q with his un-activated phone.

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