Making the complex simple

November 23, 2009 — Leave a comment

How easy is it to buy from you?  I just received my HP 50g calculator in the mail – their high end graphing calculator.  While I don’t do a lot function plots in my business, I do teach algebra II in my spare time, thus the calculator.  I was thinking about the 41C I purchased while in college when I ordered this.  The documentation was exceptional.  With zero computer skills at the time, I was able to read it, understand it, and use it within a matter of days.  I bought add-ons for it, bought an upgrade eventually, but kept the old one, and had my kids using both of them (20 years later) in their school work.  But alas, both of them recently died.

The replacement is another example of engineers wanting to cram as much as possible into a box that fits in the palm of your hand, without concern for usability.  Every key does about 5 things, with an additional 150 commands that can be typed in.  The documentation is meaningless, and no one seems to have written the “Missing Manual” yet.  So with a college degree in computer science, years of technical work prior to my roles in management and selling, I can’t figure out how to do simple functions on it.

I’m sure the technology is excellent, but if it’s unusable, what good is it.  I see this frequently in proposals, assessment reports, project documentation, and event sales “one-sheets”.  How easy is it for your clients to navigate through your company sales process?  Is it iPhone or is it the HP 50g…I’ll take a few icons over hundreds of  multi-funtion microscopic buttons any day.

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