First, an important announcement.
I have decided to change my name to Alok 'Apple' Kejriwal.
Oops, I forgot about Rodinhood - so how about Alok 'Apple-Rodindinhood' Kejriwal?
All this in absolute honor of APPLE - whose design aesthetics and acute attention to consumer delight just win the hearts of millions of consumers like me.
(PS - Apple is the second most valuable Company in the world).
This brings me to the subject of this post:
WHY (and I STOMP my feet) and ask - WHY CANT the rest of the world's electronic companies understand design aesthetics and consumer experience basics??
Check out these 3 amazing remote controls that I use regularly:
Now, I am sure that even if you have had 6 large pegs of very bad whisky, you can figure out the one that is a Sony remote control , and the second a silly TVR remote control.
The third one is actually the remote control of my Macbook.
The difference in design elegance is more than obvious!
Also, take a moment to check out this piece of what I call Satellite Wreakage (its supposedly a Music Player) that decorates my office's conference room :
Trust me, I have tried a couple of times, but I just never understood how to operate my office Music system..
Now, check out this Harman and Kardon iPod music system that sits in my home living room actually plays much much better music than the wreck above.
I mean why do I ever need to buy that Sony piece of ugliness ever?
So, the question is - Why is UGLINESS the big favorite amongst Billion $$ giants who want us to spend our hard earned money on the incredibly ugly pieces of metal garbage they produce (that look like robots that have suffered heart attacks)?
These are my theories:
- Most of the Japanese consumer electronics seem to be designed by Engineers for Engineers. Its like they like to see all their tools in front of themselves all the time and hence decided to pile on the same on the hard device itself. All the buttons, switches and keypads visible in one place.
- At a deeper level, I think that since the WEB (the Internet) never existed at the time when these devices and electronic products were created, these designers never understood the concept of TABS and layers of Sections WITHIN layers. The Internet has taught us a lot about UI and UX (user interface and user experience).
- The Japanese really concentrated on compactness and longevity - coz they were fighting a battle of 'Bad Quality perception' post the World Wars. Consumer aesthetics were never on their minds.
- Companies like Philips (yup, you remember that Company that invents eveything and then never does anything about it) always was a like a LAB of Invention - hence claiming the flag of discovery was first and probably their only priority (they never had commercial success of any of their inventions).
Actually designing consumer friendly products was never ever on Philip's mind.
- Bose, the American pioneer did a lot in making very beautiful and very elegant products and came closest to amazing aesthetics. However, Bose remained an expensive and somewhat exclusive brand to the more affluent class of consumers, and the Company really never made a big large scale impression on mass consumers. (Check the lowest price of a Bose Product Vs. the lowest cost of an Apple iPod).
- The Europeans - The masters of design, consumer delight and the best fashion masters of the world never got into producing large scale consumer electronics and so the world missed out on their contribution.
The space was left for Apple and Steve Job's obsession with design, consumer experience and pure entertainment (remember Steve J founded PIXAR) to capture the imagination of millions of consumers and change the consumer hardware entertainment space forever.