There is a great deal of discussion about Motorola's RAZR and its initial success; followed by lack of interest in the next generation of Motorola's offerings.. I wrote here and Bruce Nussbaum for instance posts
"Carl Icahn, who is constantly called "the corporate raider turned shareholder activist" is battling Motorola CEO Ed Zander to get a seat on the board of directors and use the company's cash to buy back stock--including his own Motorola stock. Zander and Motorola are vulnerable to this squeeze because of the sharp decline in the profits derived from the great selling Razr cellphone. Motorola has been cutting its price all year, especially in emerging markets, and is losing market share to rivals Nokia and Samsung. All this before Apple launches its iPhone.
What does this have to do with design? After all, the ultra-slm Razr is a design marvel, attracting millions of people around the world to its fashionable, stylish colors and light, thin form. It took quite a lot of engineering and plain old industrial design to create the Razr.
But the Razr turns out to be bad design, really bad design, because it has an awful user-interface. I personally know nearly a dozen people who truly hate their Razrs, including a number of top designers. People have a very hard time with just the basic features, such as phone numbers, texting, sending photos, even hearing well. There are lots of consumer complaints. The truth is, despite its terrific outside, the Razr runs on an old, homeground operating system
that Motorola is only now updating." (latest Carl Icahn did not get his seat!)
I asked a student group recently if any of them had RAZR phones... a good proportion raised their hands; when I asked what they thought of them. They raised problems of robustness with hinges being a particular focus of doubt. Also many did not progress on from making calls and txts. The following week I asked who had a Nokia... about the same number as last week raised their hands. What did they think of them... They thought they were cool... liked the ease of use and some mentioned the style. Several showed me photo albums and movies they had made recently capturing interesting events in their lives. One guy wanted to take me over to a PC on the University network to show me his Lifeblog of the project research he had done for his team and... but we'd better get back to the student workshop I am facilitating as we are discussing the Design Pyramid.
We went onto the Nokia website, grabbed some statements on their purpose and built the brand communication face:
Looking at the Nokia phone
We can ask people about their actual experience of use and tabulate their feedback against the consumer experience side. The Nokia information on their site describes the 7280 this way
The gap shows that the functionality and iconic scores are similar but the reliability scores are higher for Nokia as they take this seriously and it is reflected in consumer feedback. Because the user interface is not a barrier to use people engage with the Nokia much more easily creating a halo effect that spills over into personality and iconic properties. It is interesting how the external form reflects the actual consumer perceived quality of the Nokia but the RAZR raises expectations during the buying touchpoint and then dashes them in use.
So we can see from the gap analysis what we need to work on using the other pyramid faces to discuss and record group targets and learning. We can now be systematic about addressing our users' barriers to a great experience. Now it will be interesting to plot the iPhone experience in order to understand Apple's offer! What is the platform for success? Steve and Jonathan have really led their team to concentrate on solving gaps.. will the consumer agree?
photo uploaded on by marble2. Used with thanks under CC.
Finally, the success of the venture depends on more than the consumer experience which is where Design Space comes into its own.