Monday, October 17, 2005

Usability Vs. Features

This is a part of a discussion I was having here
My take on the whole issue:
  • Functions: Features of a device which are satisfied by a single application,e.g. Browsing, Messaging, Gaming..
  • Processes: Ways in which these functions are executed i.e. Usability.
  • Foreground functions[Source]: Functions which the user intiates like video, chat, playing games, and browsing the Web.
  • Background functions[Source]:Functions which the mobile intiates like waiting for appointment reminders, carrying snippets of actionable data (contact info,calendar, some notes, a to-do list), and waiting for a call or SMS..
I went to a mobile shop(For the record, these are my personal opinions, not Jataayu's) and found an interesting pattern through the shop owner, about people buying mobiles.
He told me that people buying mobiles worth more than USD 335 (or INR 15,000) bought a lot more Sony Ericssons(so many that they were out of stock!).
People buying mobiles worth less than USD 335 (or INR 15,000) bought a lot more Nokias.

The conclusion is that for consumers who are technologically literate (or function oriented){Bluetooth, USB, 3G, SyncML etc.} their mobile brand choice is Sony Ericsson.

For consumers who are technologically illiterate (or process oriented) their mobile brand choice is Nokia.

Hence, let me say that what we call process oriented, is actually usability oriented. While, Function oriented, is Feature oriented.

Hence, people who want features, don't mind sacrificing usability. While people who want usability, don't mind sacrificing features.

The people who want both, are the niche high (and I do mean HIGH;-) ) end Nokia buyers.

I could be wrong ... ;-)
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