Customization… in Just the Right Places.

Designing our product is one of the best parts of my job — it’s as if I get to peer into the future and experience a small taste of it, here, in the present.

The IBM Selectric I

Good product solve the customer’s needs in an obvious and intuitive way; in other words, good products get the job done without pomp and circumstance — the value is plain, simple, and entirely understood by the potential buyer.

But the magic is always in the amount of personalization and/or customization that the customer can achieve, even if it’s subtle or small in stature. Regarding IBM’s advertisement, the ability to quickly swap out the default set of type for an italicized reading experience was a complete surprise, delightful even, and not what customers were expecting in the slightest.

But, from the moment you saw it, you knew that it would resonate and you knew that, as a consumer and user of a this type of product, you immediately experienced a sneak-peek into the future.

Someday all typewriters will work like the IBM Selectric; but why wait?

First, design your product to be exceedingly useful in the ways that your customer wants. Then, add a “dollop” of customization and/or personalization that’ll make them not only feel special, but, empowered.

It’s unlikely that they’d ever go back.

[I have an IBM Selectric II in my office, the very piece of technology upon which I learned to type! Thanks mom!]