Tag Archive: details


A long time ago, I bought a Sansa Fuze Mp3 player (as it was half of the price of the iPod with the same amount of memory). It has lasted several years with moderate usage, it has lived through some very extreme environmental conditions, and it’s still working to this day.

Side Note: I’m also a fan of how SanDisk does business: the Mp3 player just acts like a folder when docked to your computer (so you can just ‘click’ and ‘drag’ to add new songs…no need to work through a software like iTunes).

Honestly, it has  been a great little Mp3 player, but it has some quirks that drive me crazy!!!

  • First of all, when you’re trying to move within your song list, you have to spin the wheel to advance to the next song (you can’t just click ‘down’ or ‘up’).
  • Secondly, there is no way to jump to ‘fast scroll mode’. If you want something in the middle of the alphabet, you have to scroll, scroll, scroll until you get there (I wish you could just press and hold)!!!
  • Thirdly, you cannot loop around the alphabet (as in, if you want to get from ‘a’ to ‘x’, you have to scroll, scroll, scroll through ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’,… all the way to ‘x’. You cannot just go backwards from ‘a’ to ‘z’ to ‘y’ to ‘x’).
  • Finally, you cannot create a playlist on the go. They provide you with a “go list”, which is one pre-named playlist to which you can add a (small) limited amount of songs, but you cannot create a second playlist without hooking the Fuze up to a computer.

Now, the thing that drives me crazy about these little deficiencies are that they can all be alleviated with software, they require no additional hardware whatsoever!!!

Hardware costs money, and some companies have limited cash, so I understand why some companies use cheaper components in their products (I don’t necessarily agree with it all of the time, but I understand it).

The thing about software is that there are only two things that separate the great from the mediocre: time and intelligence (and neither of these should be in short supply)!

(Now, before someone  gets on my case, I know we all have deadlines we need to hit in order to keep up our freshness index, but, if we are in too much of a hurry, we will end up producing a far inferior product that annoys people (anyone else cram for tests in High School/College?!?). Also, I know that your software abilities are limited by the chips on which your software is running, but these chips are cheap compared to most of your hardware components).

Therefore, with this in mind, I really see a strong link between software and overall quality of the product and the company which the product represents. If there are bugs, poorly designed features, or broken links on web pages, it speaks volumes more to me about quality than a cheap part used in an assembly.

I get that your company may not always be able to afford better quality parts, but how can your company not afford to simply pay attention?

Read the signs!!!

The sign to the left was in a unisex bathroom in a restaurant that my wife and I visited this past Sunday, and I barely gave it a second glance (since I’ve seen a million variations of this sign before).

What caught my attention was a comment scribbled near the sign that said: “No employee came to wash my hands… 😦 “.

Immediately, I noticed the “your” on the sign, and the sign became much more memorable (and even picture-worthy) for me!

It was a good reminder for me to always keep an eye on the details. Even those things that we’ve seen thousands of times can appear quite different to us based on our ever-changing life experiences and perspectives. Indeed, every supposedly mundane object we encounter or experience we go through in our lives has the chance to become something memorable or to brighten our day (or to pass some cheer  on to someone else); it all depends on whether or not we put in the extra effort to be attentive to the details!

 

This post dedicated to “Uncle” Joe Bosier who never missed a chance to brighten someone else’s day.

Oster Microwave – Fail

Again, they must not have been thinking…

Pictured below is my Oster microwave:

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I have beef with microwaves (since even the newest ones look like they’re from the ’80s, and the ones with the scroll wheels, while trying to look futuristic, are horrible at being user-friendly microwaves).

See the problem (and not my clutter)? What time is it?

I use this (or try to use this) as my kitchen clock, and, more often than not, I have to walk to the other end of the kitchen to tell what time it is!!!

This microwave is also impossible to see into when something is cooking (which means you have to listen for explosions; you can’t see them coming).

Minor issue? Absolutely.

The real issue here (for Oster, anyway) is that I have to buy a new microwave soon (as this one is starting to howl at me), and this “minor issue” is more than enough to push me to buy any brand other than Oster. 

.It doesn’t matter how awesome the microwave is, I’ve literally been  waiting for this microwave to die so I could go buy a microwave from any other manufacturer.

This is a notice to all designers, engineers, marketers, managers, and anyone else who is willing to listen: Pay attention to the little details because they can make or break your product or service!!!

BMW Marketing Gem

You’ve got to hand it to BMW; they know how to create a really classy product…right down to the markings on their cup holders, actually:

I really thought I could put a long-stemmed wine glass in the cup holder! Bummer!

Yes indeed, the best marketing is in the smallest of details. Sure, big gaudy marketing campaigns have there place, but the small finishing touches are what really make the feeling created by the ad campaign authentic.

Every time you open your cup holder you are reminded that you’re riding on the leather wings of one classy beast (and your friends, who are riding shotgun, will undoubtedly take notice)!

…just to be clear, I am currently driving a 2001 Ford Focus. My friend is the one with the BMW… Sometimes life just isn’t fair.  😉