Complexity causes 50% of product returns -scientist
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Half of all malfunctioning products returned to stores by consumers are in full working order, but customers can't figure out how to operate the devices, a scientist said on Monday.Attention manufacturers, designers and engineers the clock is running.
Product complaints and returns are often caused by poor design, but companies frequently dismiss them as "nuisance calls", Elke den Ouden found in her thesis at the Technical University of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands.
A wave of versatile electronics gadgets has flooded the market in recent years, ranging from MP3 players and home cinema sets to media centers and wireless audio systems, but consumers still find it hard to install and use them, she found.
The average consumer in the United States will struggle for 20 minutes to get a device working, before giving up, the study found.
Product developers, brought in to witness the struggles of average consumers, were astounded by the havoc they created.