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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Research Finds Consumers Crave Simplicity | Aaron Baar, MediaPost Publications

I believe the statement in the headline applies to everything. The article, though, is about technology. Baar writes:
Technology companies may believe that the bells and whistles that come with a technological breakthrough are enough to sell a product, but consumers want a much simpler understanding about how it will relate to their lives.
Baar reports that 54 percent of 6,000 consumers surveyed "want technology to be easy to use," and 46 percent "also wanted devcies to simplify their lives.:

Says Esty Pujadas, partner and director of global technology practice for Ketchum, whcih conducted the seurvey in six countes:
The bottom line is people are looking for simplification. That’s not to say that they’re not appreciative of features and functionality, but it’s more that they want to understand better the benefits.
As a longtime professional communicator, I was most interested in the research findings about consumer understanding and communication.

Baar writes (emphasis added):
Consumers have a basic understanding that technology can make their lives simpler, Pujadas says, but they are short on specifics. Communications from the technology makers and marketers often gets weighed down in the technical specifications, rather than focusing on the user experience.
And that gets to the point I made in my first statement above. In whatever field they're in, the developers, users and advocates can be so passionate about it that they forget the audiences they're trying to reach might not have the passion, interest or knowledge they have.

As I've written elsewhere (at Garbl's Pencil):
If people can't, don't or won't read your brochure, newsletter, report, letter or website, why publish it? And if people read it but don't do anything as a result, what was the point of publishing it?
I love being around--and working with--people who have passion for their particular interests. But if they are trying to communicate with other people about their passion--and all the whats and wheres and whens and whys about it--they absolutely must put the needs and interests of their audience above themselves. 

That's especially true if they want their audience to do something more than just listen to them or read about their passion.

For more information on how to clarify what you write and present about your passion, check out Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide. There you can learn how to write clearly to meet the needs of your readers--and your needs too!

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