Consumer Unfriendly

Sometimes people don’t know what is good for them.

Here’s an example:

You cannot replace the battery in the iPhone. Because of this Apple have been able to make the iPhone much lighter and thinner than it would be if the design needed to incorporate a removable battery cover and place the battery in a position where it could be easily removed. As Steven Johnson points out, Apple are betting that a smaller phone with fewer moving parts is worth the trade off.

Another one:

You cannot use HTML formatting when describing stuff you are selling on Trade Me. Everybody wants their listing to stand out, so this is commonly requested. However, when everybody can make their listing stand out no one actually stands out – it’s just an arms race. Trade Me prefers a consistent layout where information always appears in the same location. The alternative is eBay, where every listing looks different and typically looks like a bomb just went off with different fonts, multi-coloured text and animated graphics everywhere.

Can you think of others?

6 thoughts on “Consumer Unfriendly”

  1. Sometmes you just gotta do what’s right for other people – whether they agree or not. Sometimes power is a heavy responsibility

  2. cyworld vs myspace. cyworld employs thousands of designers to create backgrounds etc and sells them. myspace lets users do their own thing. Both allow users to customise their pages but one controls the look (to a degree)and creates a revenue stream from customisation, the other offers members the opportunity to present their own unique look and feel for free and an industry has grown out of demand for custom designs.

  3. People are always trying to find out who Batman is, but if they did find out that he’s ***** ***** then Batman wouldn’t be able to help people anymore, because villains would hurt ***** *****’s family.

    Some people think OOXML should be an ISO standard alongside ODF, but multiple standards raise the cost to market entry and reduce competition, stagnate “innovation”, and rise prices so multiple standards should only be allowed when they’re justifiably unique and lack the ability to be harmonized. Thankfully New Zealand, France, and many other countries have voted for the standards to be harmonized to assist interoperability and therefore competition, “innovation”, and pricing of office suites for everyone.

    Some people want all eight sauces at once on their Subway sub, but that would taste awful, and so the sandwich artists are instructed to only allow you to have a maximum of four sauces at once.

    They will also frown at you to discourage this practice.

  4. Windows: Every one thinks they need an OS they can tweak and fiddle with and have every possible option at their fingers tips, when in reality all they need is for it to “just work”, and have all the bollocks hidden by the OS.

    Case in point – setting up wireless networking. In windows you need to be an ubergeek, know a lot about security protocols and even then it will probably not work because the manufacturers software is clashing with the Windows default version.

    In OSX it’s like, “I see you have a wireless network nearby, oh and I see it has security enabled. Enter the password here and I’ll go away and leave you to it”.

  5. This is a facet of Public Good economics. What is good for the individual is not necessary good for society.

    You cannot speed, nor can you take speed,

    You cannot shoot people, even if you are certain that they need shooting

    You cannot avoid paying taxes, even if you don’t use many Government services

    You cannot take someone’s computer or phone away, even if you think they should be banned from all electronic equipment for failure to use it intelligently

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