While catching up on the Daily Show a couple of days ago, we saw the above Samsung commercial over and over. It was overly long even the first time (it should end when the parents show up imho) and smelled of vinegar.
It was also particularly pertinent since we’d spent the last two weeks phone shopping while I also did some ethno work on the iPhone5 launch. I was up at 5am the day of the launch to talk to people in line before they got their phones. Needless to say, the line was nothing like the commercial. There was a quiet passion, an enjoyment of experiencing an “event”, detailed knowledge of what new advancements the phone had. People knew what they were doing and they were happy to do it.
For those who are Apple fans, so much of it is about the little details. Let’s talk screen size.
Issue: Wanting bigger screens for watching videos.
Other manufacturers: Yes! We will make you the biggest screen we can. Enjoy!
Apple: Okay, so you want a bigger screen but we also know that you want your thumb to cover the entire screen and to be able to shove your phone in your pocket. Let’s design it so we can get you the most screen while doing that. Not as big as other options? That’s okay.
Now not every consumer cares about that sort of thing. But everyone I’ve talked to or watched, Android and Apple owners alike, has subconsciously noticed it. While ethnoing, I noticed that people held iPhone 5s one of two ways. Either they cradled it in their hands like some sort of delicate bird* (with accompanying oohs on how light it was) or they firmly placed it in the web between thumb and finger and used it one handed. Everyone with the Galaxy held it up with one hand and poked at it with the other. There was just something about the two that led to such different behavior.
That’s one of the (many) reasons why qualitative data and UX are so important – design leads people to particular key behaviors that lead to consumer decisions and emotions. As people have more options and become even more picky about what to purchase, anticipating the intrinsic reactions becomes increasingly important when speaking to consumers in authentic and honest ways.
* I personally liked the feel of the Galaxy better than the 5 – it felt like a smooth river stone, where the 5 felt like all edges. Despite that, I’m still stalking the Apple store for a 5 because of all the other stuff.