Often it is getting the small but critical details right in good design that makes the difference to whether users accept and take-up a new technology or product or don't.
Take electric scooters as an example. This should be a really successful product - cheap to run, environmentally friendly, etc should enable the electric scooter to steal market share from its petrol brother. But so far it hasn't and why not?
One major issue with most electric scooters is the charging of the battery - this requires access to a close socket and therefore probably a garage, or running a cable from inside the house. Neither of these work well for the main target market for scooter riders - the city dweller. For people in cities, they don't usually have a garage and the scooter lives in the street. So the electric scooter fails to meet a fundamental user need.
However one new product seems to have overcome this - Econogo's Yogo scooter - how? By designing the battery to be removable so it can be taken inside to charge. How simple...how come no-one has done it before?
Good user-centered design also brings other benefits - removing the battery gives the owner added security as the local joyriders will find it hard to nick with no power source.
A simple yet clever design solution seems to have opened up the electric scooter market to a whole new group of potential scooter users. We're impressed...in fact our MD is booking his test drive next week.
Labels: design, user needs