A momentum in easy-to-use products

According to MSNBC, we are reaching a momentum in easy-to-use product (like say ipod the PalmPilot or the Google Web site). They points on several reasons for this:

partly due to a growing consumer backlash against complexity (...) The move toward ease-of-use is being driven by economics, according to IBM Fellow Curt Cotner. The cost of hardware and software has been decreasing, and companies are now focusing on how to lower costs in terms of people, since fewer people are needed to maintain simpler systems. This strategy is key to IBM's goal of becoming the vendor of choice for small- and medium-sized enterprises that cannot afford expansive IT workforces. Cast Iron Systems CEO Fred Meyer comments that software has been made so complex that it cannot support 90 percent of its desired applications, and he thinks software designers and computer manufacturers are simplifying their products because of user demand. A major challenge to maintaining simplicity is muzzling engineers' urge to bundle snazzy features into the newest gadgets: "The desire not to over-engineer a phone is just as difficult as it is to add new features," says Kyocera's John Chier.

Why do I blog this? Finally user-centered design goes mainstream, it's very good for consumers/end-users. We all finally take advantage of the 'HCI' added value. Question to be answered:

  • ok my ipod rocks and using goolgle through my firefox toolbar is great but what about my horrible DVD player? and my shitty fridge? there are still areas to explore!
  • my grandfather is as lost with an ipod as with his 10 years old tv remote control. Let's think about elderly or children or people with disabilities
  • what about services? now that end-user studies has been mainstream in product design, what about service design? or even architecture?
  • What's the next move with product design?

Well it's just few issues that popped up into my mind, there should be plenty of others?