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Is Convenience Draining American’s Bank Accounts?

As a UX Researcher/Architect at User Insight (Ui), I’m constantly trying out new services and products to evaluate the good, the bad, and the ugly to help inform my day-to-day consulting and market awareness. It will come to you as no surprise that my husband and I have been loyal Amazon Prime members for about the last 2 years and have thoroughly enjoyed having nearly anything available to us at the click of a button – without even having to leave the house! Amazon recently introduced a beta product that’s going to revolutionize the convenience of ordering products. They’re called Amazon Dash Buttons and they’ll be in homes across America before you know it! The buttons are truly genius. A simple physical button, branded with the logo of a product you frequently purchase is placed near (or stuck onto) the area or product in which it serves.

For example, if you have a child in diapers and you order your diapers from Amazon, you can stick a “Pamper’s” Dash Button on your child’s changing station. Let’s say you go to change your child’s diaper one day and notice you’re running low on diapers. You would simply press a single button and bam! Your diapers have been ordered and will be on their way.

I know many of you are probably thinking what myself and others at Ui thought immediately after hearing this concept; “But what if my child clicks the button a million times?” Or, “What if I hit the button not knowing that my husband already clicked it to place a reorder?” Don’t worry, Amazon has that all figured out. Click here to see a list of settings and delivery processes.

It’s an interesting change of direction experientially with the use of a pure physical product as opposed to a digital product and quite frankly I’m excited to see something without a screen!  This is truly an example of ubiquitous computing, a term coined by Mark Weiser in the 80’s.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Weiser)  Mark believed that technology should fade to the background and become part of our lives and that the computer screen should disappear.

Meeting the user contextually at their point of need, want, or even weakness is the optimal way to ensure a sale! They won’t forget or have to put it off until later. They’ll notice they’re low on something and then replenish – in the moment. I had a client once call this moment “The Moment of Truth”.

We are offered so much convenience in today’s services that many of us no longer even need to get up off the couch to “run our errands”.

We are also seeing examples of this with Fitbit, and wearable technologies that are providing significant conveniences for the consumer while improving their overall user experience.  See our very own Emily Keen’s article on wearables (https://userinsight.com/wearable-banana/) or Ui’s Jeff Lindsey’s discussion of Disney’s amazing use of technology with a wrist band (https://userinsight.com/disney-is-always-watching/).

Internally at Ui we were discussing if this convenience is causing us personally to spend more money or if the spending is the same as usual. So how do you feel about today’s convenience when it comes to your purchases? Have you noticed you are spending more? Or is your spending the same as always – you just shop more efficiently? We’d love to hear your feedback!