New Geek on the Block
Technology, Sci-Fi, Gadgets, & Geekery.

Why isn’t all technology easy?

iPod Touch in Belkin Car KitI had an interesting experience with technology today which made me realize something: Steve Jobs and Apple computers are spoiling consumers. What I mean by this is that by making products which for the most part are easy to use and visually appealing, they are making people like myself disgruntled towards inferior forms of technology.

Now before all the windows/pc people get pissed off at me I want to explain that statement further. I’m not going to go on a rant about Windows vs OS X, I think that’s a topic which has been talked about a bit too much. What I’m talking about is more about how apple products are packaged, and how they are meant to be used for the first time.  Apple is known for having simplistic packaging which is actually appealing to the eye. Their products, like iPods for example are easy to set up, instruction booklets are insanely easy, usually just three panel drawings displaying what needs to be done, ie plug in ipod, let charge, unplug.

But not all products are made like this, or with the user unboxing experience in mind. Have you ever watched a Youtube video of someone unboxing a Macbook Air or and iPhone? For gadget geeks this is actually exciting. But you almost never see unboxing videos for companies like Sony, Microsoft, or the company I’m about to rip on, Belkin. This is because these companies don’t understand the importance of good packaging that doesn’t hinder your ability to get at the product.

Earlier today I had the wonderful experience of helping my friend Emily install a Belkin iPod car kit. After purchasing it and going out to her car we sat there and looked at the packaging for a minute. She wanted to be careful not to completely destroy the plastic box it came in because if it did not meet her standards she was prepared to return it. However the packaging was designed so that in order to get the thing out you actually needed to rip some of the cardboard. Once the main piece was removed from the package we noticed a ridiculous amount of small parts and accessories, all of which were kind of just tossed in the box without any sort of organization. We promptly threw these into the back seat along with the instructions which seemed rather unnecessary for such a simple device. We were wrong.

After a couple minutes of attempting to plug the charger into the cigarette lighter we reached behind us to find the instructions again, because it just didn’t seem to want to fit. After reading through the booklet we realized that it just need to be pushed in further and that all the accessories we threw in the back were unnecessary. Needless to say we eventually got it plugged in and working. But it was not easy, or at least not  as easy as it should have been. We joked about how the iPod itself was easier to use  and how Steve Jobs would never ship something as horribly packaged as the Belkin car kit. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the packaging, it was mostly destroyed and now resides on the backseat floor of Emily’s Honda.

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4 Responses to “Why isn’t all technology easy?”

  1. I know exactly what you mean! Half of the fun of buying an Apple product is opening the packaging! I mean, I like to open any sort of packaging, but I rarely ever keep it. . . unless it’s Apple. I have all three of my boxes still in pristine condition.
    Other than the packaging, how is the quality of the Belkin car kit? It looks neato.

  2. Despite the packaging curfuffle the Belkin car kit seemed to work very well, it produced a clean signal with good sound. Emily was pleased.

  3. And it holds my ipod upright which is VERY handy because the touchscreen is only a few INCHES from the shifter and therefore, my little hands! Hooray for ease of use but not ease of installation!

  4. That’s what I need, some ease of use! So does it come with a little stand? The iTrip I use that Greg bought for his Zune doesn’t have a stand or anything. . . it just usually sits on the seat beside me so I have to fish for it before I can change any of the songs.


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