A business is all about its product, whether tangible or intangible. One thing that some business owners forget is to keep their product simple. What do I mean by this, and why is it so important? It is sometimes hard to remember that the product you have spent so long developing may by the time of its introduction seem simple to you, but may be complicated to the unfamiliar buyer. The level of complexity or the amount of time it takes for your intended customers to become familiar with your product is a must-know before you put it on the shelves.
Know Your Target Customer
If you are designing a product for a specific audience who is familiar with that product and its features, then you may not have to worry as much about how simple it is for your potential customers to figure out your product. However, for many entrepreneurs, designing and introducing a product that has immediate appeal and is very user-friendly is of utmost importance. If your potential customer is turned off by a product that seems overly-complicated from the get go, then it is unlikely they will buy.
Most consumers want a product that they can put their hands on, figure out, and become comfortable using in a short amount of time. One great way to determine if your product idea or design is user-friendly is to simply ask people about your idea. Will they think it sounds too complex to even consider purchasing it? Do the functions and features of the product appeal to them on a basis where they could buy it from the internet? After a first glance, will they be attracted to it?
If you have followed business news in the past couple of years, you will have read about how companies are downsizing their physical stores and the employees that work there because an increasing number of people are shopping online, whether through that store’s own website or through a site such as Amazon. One article I read within the past few weeks described how many consumers are entering stores to test a product, then going online to order.
How this relates to this post’s topic is that you want to keep your product simple enough that the average consumer could walk into a store, test it out and like it immediately, and then either purchase it there or online. If a consumer is shopping online, the immediate appearance of the product makes a big difference. Does the product look overly-complicated, especially as compared to its competition? Does the product have too many buttons on the front or too many features that make it seem from the future? Again, the average consumer want to feel comfortable and not have to rely on someone else teaching them how to use their product.
Achieving a Balance
As with so many other things in life, balance is necessary to success. While this post focuses on keeping your product simple, you still want to be on the cutting-edge and offer certain functions of the product that will make you stand apart. Design a product that gets the job done without making it hard to do so because of its complexity. It doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles, but it needs to get the job done. Think of your average consumer, or the target consumer, and put yourself in his shoes. Consider yourself buying an unfamiliar product and what you would want from it.