Feature Fatigue

Feature Fatigue

Being Homo sapiens, we ask for more and thank less, this is human nature. We want the thing we cannot afford. We look and like things that are in other person’s hand. And when it comes to Tech-no-logy, man is becoming more vulnerable and greedy. Yes, you are right; I am talking about Cell Phones.

It’s the strategy of marketing to present things to create temptation and eventually make luxurious thing – a necessity. Take the case of toothpaste; it has been made a crucial household item.
But the case is no more like the same with cellular technology, which has made cellular items so advance and affordable. This advancement on one side makes people greedy when it comes to features in a cell phone.

People having a good cell phone switch to an expensive one because that phone has some extra feature without thinking that the feature is of their use or not. A cell phone is no more a phone to talk, you can watch movie in it and so on. The switching to a more advance phone and finding that the old phone was more comfortable causes a fatigue, which is called ‘feature fatigue’.

A phone’s basic purpose is to call and do messaging but now a lot of features are offered in a cell phone and people are eager to buy such a device but when they find that the old simple phone was easy to use they appreciate their previous phone and comment, ’all we have to do is make a call ’. Thus, people don’t see what their requirements are and spend their money on expensive phones. You can see people with cell phones with tremendous features and you ask them how many times they have used the features other than calling and messaging and they say, ‘they have never used any of these features’.

The same thing applies to other products, manufacturers like to add more utilities in their product so it will appeal the public and they buy it. As people want a Swiss-Army knife approach in every product they use. They go for features offered in one product but when they start using it they are unhappy with the product having increased complexity.

The initial attractiveness increases by offering such features in a product but ultimately decreases customers. Even you can observe that Nokia 1100 is the cell phone, which is mostly used at every level of customers of cell phones. On the other hand, take the case of BMW, whose 7 Series cars feature the complicated iDrive system, which offers about 700 capabilities requiring multifunction displays and multistep operations. According to industry news reports, sales of the 7 Series in the United States in the first half of 2005 were down about 10 percent relative to the same period in 2004.

Executives at Mercedes-Benz removed more than 600 functions from its cars. In 2004, Stephan Wolfsried, vice president for electrical and electronic systems and chassis unit at DaimlerChrysler’s Mercedes Car Group, said that integrating all those functions caused truly important electronic parts to malfunction occasionally and made testing the system more expensive. Moreover, Wolfsried said, the functions were ones that “no one really needed and no one knew how to use.” One example he noted was the storage of a driver’s personal seat position in the car key. “It was done with good intentions, but if I take my wife’s key at some point and can’t find my own seat position any more, that tends to be annoying for me instead of comfortable.”

Honda City GM

See the electronics giant Koninklijke (Royal) Philips Electronics’ new brand promise: sense and simplicity. The concept is that products should be easy to use and should improve the quality of people’s lives. The company apparently wants to take this idea beyond sloganeering: It created a Simplicity Advisory Board, a think tank consisting of designers, healthcare specialists, and technology experts, to help translate the message into new products.

Products are appreciated which do one thing very well. New Yorker published cartoon that shows a man arriving in a store with a simple question: “Do you have any phones that make phone calls?”

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