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Do companies fail because their technology is unusable? (01 Aug 2005)
Think about it, folks: Compared to TiVo, the Time Warner cable box is like going to a medieval dentist. But despite his dislike, he switched anyway. How important is usability? Answer, very important, but it alone is not enough. Companies succeed because they make sales (more accurately, because they make a profit from those sales), and for the company to succeed, all aspects of the product must perform well: the business model, the marketing and sales efforts, the cost structure, the competitiveness, and of course, the product itself, in appearance, function, and usability. Which particular aspects dominate will depend upon the context.

For us, as a discipline, to be successful, we need to understand the entire picture. Wonderful user experience is important, but neither necessary nor sufficient. If the company fails, it doesn’t matter how good the experience was. Our job is to make the company succeed.
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