Debates around consumer products (specifically consumer technology) are often as heated as religious wars. We see individuals picking sides and arguing endlessly at which product is better. Examples include: Windows VS OS10 VS Linux, iPhone VS Blackberry VS Android, Xbox VS PS3 VS Wii, the list goes on.
What I have begun to notice about these debates on this website (and in society in general) is the tendency to list features as arguments towards why a certain product is better. The questions I would like to pose are as follows:
- Is a product with more features always better?
- Does listing a products features really help consumers make an intelligent choice?
- Why do we put so much emphasis on features that we may or may not ever use instead of east of use and feel?
- Are the attributes that really make a good or bad product too difficult to accurately evaluate?
These are just some of the many questions I am curious about.
When asked which product is better, product A or product B, the answer always seems to be a description of the features. Product A has this this and this, Product B has this this and this. But does listing those features really accurately describe what it is like to use a device?
Take a look at the iPad, before many critics had even touched the device they pronounced it dead due to a lack of features. (no multi-tasking, no usb, no front facing camera, etc.) Yet the device has shattered expected sales.
In conclusion, when comparing two products should we simply list the features with "tick boxes" (like consumer reports has done for years)? Or is more personal insight required?
Simplified examples of what I mean by feature comparison: