Perkal Gifts
Perkal Corporate Gift & Promotional Clothing Importers SA. - Catalog Feed

Featured Categories

Our Ranges Catergorised

more
Covid-19 Essential Products ->
(352)

Eco Friendly Gifts -> (939)

Executive Gifts -> (3838)

Mens Gifts -> (2556)

Ladies Gifts -> (6689)

At The Office -> (4091)

Caps & Clothing -> (3760)

Luggage & Bags -> (5639)

Pens & Writing -> (6528)

Folders -> (1594)

Drinkware ->

Homeware & Hotel -> (5571)

Kiff Keyrings -> (1533)

Tea & Coffee Time -> (1464)

Behind The Bar -> (1067)

Clocks & Watches -> (3334)

Computer Accessories -> (983)

Conference Corner -> (22)

Fresh Outdoors -> (1489)

GiveAways & Novelties

Gizmos & Gadgets -> (2892)

Lights & Torches -> (1230)

Personal Stuff -> (2048)

Radio's & Sound -> (635)

The Golfing Range -> (736)

Tools & Hardware -> (419)

Travel Things -> (1520)

Kids, Fun & Games -> (2457)

Leather Range -> (308)

Purely Promotional -> (1664)

Smoking Section -> (431)

Sports Section -> (1195)

Stationery Supplies -> (2418)

Sunglasses & Novelty -> (485)

Purely African -> (1226)

Appliance Arena -> (655)

Our Brands

more

Sort By Brand Names

more

Sort By:

more
Product Colour ->

Product Material ->

Receipients Personality ->

Season ->

Specific Occasion -> (873)

Sort By Price

more

Specify own range

to

Predefined ranges

Under R1.00
From R1.00 to R5.00
From R5.00 to R25.00
From R25.00 to R50.00
From R50.00 to R100.00
From R100.00 to R250.00
From R250.00 to R500.00
From R500.00 to R1,000.00
From R1,000.00 to R1,500.00
From R1,500.00 to R2,500.00
R2,500.00 and above

Sort by Personality

more

Language Selector

Currency Selector

Gadgets gain More features, difficult to use? by Perkal

"It will come as no surprise to anyone who uses consumer electronics gadgets that some experts believe the devices are needlessly complicated.

Whether the product is a digital camera with 5 megapixels and red-eye correction, or a cell phone that doubles as a camera and an Internet Web browser, many consumers feel overwhelmed by what some call feature overkill.

""A lot of people don't want all those features because it's difficult to use them,"" said Robert Kaplan, principal of Usernomics Inc., a San Mateo, Calif., research firm that studies the ""human factors"" in the design of hardware and software products. But marketing more features is the consumer electronics industry version of an arms race - and nobody wants to lose by having too few features, he said.

""There's been a feature war between cell-phone manufacturers,"" Kaplan said. ""The worst example is a personal digital assistant that is also a cell phone and a digital camera. Besides all the features, the buttons on the device are very small and a bit of a mess to use.""

Individually, those features might not be as hard to use as they seem, but they have the cumulative effect of appearing formidable.

""It's not so much that consumer electronics devices are too difficult to use, but that they are different enough that folks are intimidated by them,"" said Rob Enderle, a consumer electronics analyst in San Jose, Calif. ""So they either won't buy the product, or they won't make the effort to learn to use it. A lot of people get a digital camera, then put it on the shelf.""

While some might suggest that older consumers are the ones finding consumer electronics difficult, Kaplan said it's not that simple.

""Young people between the ages of 16 and 30 also have difficulty with all the functions on these devices. But they can ask a friend how it works, or play with the gadget until they figure it out,"" Kaplan said. ""Somebody over 30 might be willing to mess with a gadget a little bit, but a person that age has other things to do and doesn't want to take the time that would be required to figure out the features.""

Part of the problem is that consumer electronics products tend to be designed from a technical perspective rather than being based on what customers really want, some analysts say.

""Most consumer electronics companies design their products from the inside out by first selecting the features they want to offer,"" said Beth Loring, director of the Design and Usability Center, a consulting arm of Bentley College, a business-oriented school in Waltham, Mass. ""Then they keep adding features, one on top of another, so their product can be favorably compared to others in the same category. And they do this without really understanding [whether] users want those features, or how to make them easy for consumers to use.""

Part of the reason this happens, she said, is that manufacturers tend to rely on market research - consisting of focus group interviews or surveys - rather than spending time with individual consumers to find out what they want.

""My favorite example is clock radios,"" Loring said. ""Every hotel room has a different type of clock radio. It's easy to set the alarm on some of those clock radios, and on others it's so complicated because of poor labeling and too many hidden features that I give up and call the front desk for a wake-up call.""

To a limited extent, consumer sentiment about hard-to-use gadgets is finally being felt. Recent sales projections for feature-laden digital cameras showed demand dropping off sooner than expected because the cameras didn't appeal to people who weren't computer-savvy. Some analysts see unit sales of digital cameras beginning to decline as soon as 2007.

But in most cases, analysts don't expect the consumer electronics industry to heed customer complaints about over-complexity. Slick ad campaigns are built around selling fancy new features, and piling them on is one way to make up for declining prices of consumer electronics devices.

In addition, the problem of too much feature complexity hasn't taken a big enough bite out of sales yet, analysts said.

""The fact that you can carry a cell phone around and make calls whenever you want overrides the issues of simplicity or difficulty,"" Kaplan said.

Despite the industry's tendency to overlook the simplicity issue, it is taking a toll on consumers, analysts said. The typical buyer takes advantage of only a few of a product's features, rather than all 10 or 20 capabilities.

Some consumer electronics makers have prospered because consumers still think they're getting their money's worth, even if they don't use all the features of a gadget, analysts said.

""Because cell-phone purchases are subsidized by the wireless phone companies, customers often are not having to pay much for all the extended features the phone offers. So they buy the phone and then use just the basic features they like,"" Enderle said. ""As a result, phones are more of a status symbol. A person may have the coolest phone on the planet, but knowing how to use it is a different matter.""

There are a few signs that some gadgets are getting easier to use. Most analysts said Apple's iPod music player is squarely aimed at what consumers want. In addition, Microsoft's next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, is expected to make running a computer a bit easier, Enderle said. And contrary to what some people might expect, video-game consoles are relatively simple devices that can be used just by inserting a game disk.

""The complexity is contained in the game, while the video-game console itself is drop-dead easy,"" Enderle said. ""It has to be that way, because the parents often have to figure out how to set up the video-game console for the kids.""

Kaplan believes more easy-to-use products will be introduced over the next five years.

""The new term for it is `user experience,'-"" Kaplan said. ""For example, why does it take a computer so long to start up? With a TV or a radio, you hit the button and it comes on. Those things will get better on computers, although we're just at the beginning of improving the user experience."""

This article was published on Sunday 17 December, 2006.

Product Search Tool

 
Use a keyword or product code to find the appropriate product.
Advanced Search
Search Help [?]

Members Login

Your Email Address
Your Password

Log in is done securely
Not yet a Member? Join now
Forgot password? Click here

Why Choose Perkal?

70000+ products from over 300 suppliers all over the world.

No Minimum order requirements on 99% of our range

Extremely Competitive Pricing We will beat any written quote!

Every Product is  Guaranteed

Our Site is 100% Safe & Secure. We use 128 bit encryption to secure our site

Discounted Pricing for Corporate and Trade Clients

We offer Branding on every product with a quick turnaround time

Served over 20000 happy customers to date

Unparalleled Customer Service

We can source almost any product from our China Office - subject to min orders

Current Bestsellers

more
Wooden Pencil
01. Wooden Pencil
R0.94

Bottle opener Keyring - Min Order 100 units
02. Bottle opener Keyring - Min Order 100 units
R4.50

Activate Mints
03. Activate Mints
R3.70

Key Finder - Whistle Keyring
04. Key Finder - Whistle Keyring
R39.80

Pop-It Bottle Opener Keyring
05. Pop-It Bottle Opener Keyring
R3.78

Penflex Ballpoint Clear Meduim Black 50 - Min orders apply, plea
06. Penflex Ballpoint Clear Meduim Black 50 - Min orders apply, plea
R1.37

Pencil with Erazer
07. Pencil with Erazer
R0.95

Executive Talking Clock-Silver

08. Executive Talking Clock-Silver
R69.00

VUVUZELA
09. VUVUZELA
R29.95

Maxwell & Williams Wba Chef Bowl 6Cm - Min Orders Apply
10. Maxwell & Williams Wba Chef Bowl 6Cm - Min Orders Apply
R9.00

Product Of The Week

Shoe Disinfectant Door Mat - Min 10 units

Shoe Disinfectant Door Mat - Min 10 units
Price  R789.00  
Buy Now

Featured Products

more
Digital timer, count down and clock with coloured display window
Digital timer, count down and clock with coloured display window
 CONTACT SALES FOR PRICE 

News & Articles

New Articles (4)
All Articles (621)
Corporate Gift Articles (405)
Corporate Gift Ideas (11)
Corporate Gifts - Branding (6)
Gadget Articles (60)
Gifts in The Press (75)
Promotional Clothing Articles (38)
Webpage News (18)
General News (31)

Search Articles Text

Ads

Latest products

more
Branded Information Tent Card - Min 500 units

Branded Information Tent Card - Min 500 units

Our Price: R6.79

Follow Perkal

Follow Me on Linkedin Follow Me on Pinterest