Why small design decisions can matter


A small inconvenience can change our feelings about the device

While we usually look for the key features in a device – speed or sound quality or picture sharpness – sometimes it’s the little things that can make or break your experience with that device.

I realized this recently when I bought myself a pair of Jabra Elite 75t earbuds for daily use. I really liked my new earbuds. But while my previous headset came with a detachable loop that you could use to attach it to a bag or keyring or whatever, there’s no way to attach anything to the Jabra case.

Now, I wasn’t going to return the earbuds because of this, but it pissed me off a bit. To get the same convenient functionality I enjoyed with my previous earbuds, I had to buy a cheap silicone cover for the case—one that came with a carabiner that I could hook onto my bag.

It also got me thinking about other easily overlooked design features that we might not even think about when we buy a device, but once we start using the device on a day to day basis. problems arise. For example, about five seconds after Apple’s Airtags hit the market, it was followed by a real onslaught of accessories (many of them made by Apple) with only one purpose and one purpose: to fix the fact. That AirTag doesn’t come with a hole so you can attach it to anything.

A rugged AirTag case.
Image: Spigen

Carabiner case for Jabra Elite 75t.
Image: Aotao

Of course, you can take a positive look at the outlook: that, as with my Jabra Elite 75t, the lack of a convenient attachment provides many companies with an additional source of income. And after all, what are a few more dollars added to the cost of something nifty like an AirTag?

That is unless you consider that there are design decisions out there that are unnecessary but convenient and included with the device. In fact, some of these are features you probably don’t know about until you know just how useful they are.

Here’s an example: I’m one of those people who keeps a tangle of white and black cables plugged in in many corners of my house — tangles that I have to find every time I, say, use USB. – C cable for my phone or power cable for my MacBook. Most of the time, I have to pick up one of the cables and follow it to the end to make sure it’s what I need. However, I can find the cable for my Dell XPS 13 laptop in a few seconds because there is a small LED on the end of the cable that is always lit when the other end is plugged into power, making it really easy to find . Dell didn’t have to put that LED in there – but I’m incredibly glad it did.

There are a number of other small design pluses that are making life a little easier for many of us, like the ridges on the bottom of the laptop to make it a little easier to carry the thing without dropping it (as well as making it more ) comfortable to type on) or the low-tech shutter that can close the camera on the Echo Show 8 to provide that extra privacy.

Perhaps to conclude from this that even small design decisions made when making a new technological device can affect our feeling about that product – perhaps even enough that we as consumers can take those decisions into account when the next model is made. Comes. outside.

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