I was watching a show that reviewed cars and I found myself not caring at all what they were talking about. I have to wonder if professional reviewers are out of touch with their audience.

I love the technology in cars. It is exciting when things add to the experience of driving. It is so exciting to be living now in a time of rapid technological change. Its so quick that what is popular for one year, is surpassed by something better the next year.

Take for example the pointing “mouse” that some cars have. It was a terrible idea. The idea was to make it easier for people, but I preferred the touch screens. Now they are using trackpads like the same on laptops but those too have issues. I have driven a car repeatedly that uses the trackpad, and I found myself growing to dislike it more as time goes on. It is too sensitive, and too ready to misunderstand what you want it to do. If it has problems for me and someone who loves trackpads on laptops, the average person is going to hate it.

It is helpful that designers are willing to try new things. However what is even more helpful, is if they ask people what they want and then give it to them. Going back to the topic of being out of touch with the audience, what someone who designs it may want and what the public want are very different things.

The most effective professional gives the people what they want. An experience that is easier, faster, cheaper or whatever that person values. When I listen to most car reviewers, they are so deep in their knowledge that it is almost incomprehensible to the rest of us. For example, the show I am referring to used slang automative terms that I didn’t know the meaning of. I read automative stuff everyday so it surprised me. I had to research so that I could understand what they were saying. Then when I mastered that concept, they had even more complex topics that they discussed is a casual way like everyone would appreciate those distinctions.

I think the average person who is watching a car review want to know the basics. They don’t care about the logic, the names, or the technology behind the car. I watch those shows because I care about those things, but not to the level that they care. I like knowing for example that my next car could have an auto piloting system and what that means, but not that Sven from Sweden designed it because he didn’t like the PDK from Porche.

Its difficult to know what the public wants, but when it takes an insider to understand your language, you are probably not giving it to them.

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Categories: Opinion