Editor's note: Lincoln Merrihew is global head, brand and marketing at Pulse Labs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until robots rule the world, people can enjoy the rapidly evolving ability to integrate with all the machines and technology around us. That integration is designed to make our lives better and easier. Well, that’s the intent: everyone has experienced the gaps between design intent and the successful execution of design. And with technology, design refers not only to the look and feel but the functional aspects as well: the menus, the screens, the graphics, the ability to accurately process voice commands, the latency of responses and the ability of one technology to effectively communicate with another.
The good news is that modern technology can often be enhanced quickly, such as via over-the-air updates in vehicle telematics and updates to cellphone apps and operating systems. Yet that’s also the bad news. That speed means that marketers and others may rush technology to market to appear innovative before things are fully ready. And that means that technology may be launched when only 80 percent ready – or less. (Some of those companies believe that’s OK because the remaining 20 percent can be added later.) Together that means consumers experience partially baked solutions, which is good for neither brand nor customer.
The results of these shortcomings vary widely, from dissatisfaction to frustration to even danger. Our firm’s testing has revealed instances when, for example, a driver was unable to disengage speed control in a vehicle locked at 25 mph when the posted speed was 40 mph. The driver tried voice commands and screen touches. At one point, when the driver said, “Increase speed,” the vehicle responded by increasing the speed of the fan.
Then there’s the ancillary fallout on marketing researchers. Rapidly developed technology means less time to compl...