Deconstructing Product Design
I admire Segway for what they wanted to achieve, and for their technical ingenuity. But they made a product with geek appeal only, rather than revolutionizing personal transport, they failed to understand social norms and instead created a tool for cybercops and tourists.
The only time I ever wanted to ride one of these was when I was completely inebriated. I had enough liquid encouragement and attempted to ride.
It seems like the perfect device for the lazy at large. At least it doesn’t pollute.
I can’t think of the Segway without thinking of:
– Will Arnett’s character G.O.B. from the TV series “Arrested Development.”
– President Bush falling off of one.
– Security guards zooming around the mall wearing helmets.
Cutting edge design and break through engineering, but ultimately the big question has to be, would YOU want to be seen on one?
Yeah, hoo doggy, how did something so technically awesome-sounding on paper end up being so freaking nerd-in-a-bad-way barfy?
The only good thing about it is that video of Bush Jr. falling over.
Maybe Mr. Jobs had it right all along: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/3533.html
Now, the wheelchair that uses the same technology: that seems was cooler IMHO.
Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a car, is it a bike, is it a pogo stick………………..that was the big problem for me, it really wasn’t intuitively obvious what it was, what to do with it, and why it was better than the existing alternatives, or why it justified it’s price tag. It may have had afforndance built in at the detail level to help you mount and naviogate it, but it missed on intuitiveness at the level of the big picture.
I’m trying to get one to hit me as I’m walking down the sidewalk.
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