“I do love a good toggle switch.” – Dr. Who

The two guitar amps I own both have a mechanical toggle switch that powers them up.  Perhaps there’s a good technical reason why these switches were chosen but if you consider the dozens of ways to turn a piece of electronics on, it seems odd that my amps still use mechanical toggles.

But I like them.

To turn on the device, you have to reach out, touch the switch, move it up and then look for the light to come on.  But there’s one more thing.  There is that solid firm sound of the “click”.  I just described an experience that involved three of my senses; sight touch and sound.

When developing new products, you would do well to involve as many senses as possible in the use of the product.  The more the customer can interact with your idea, the more the experience will leave an impression.

There are many examples. Harley Davidson sought legal protection for their classic rumble of the motorcycle engine.  Despite the improvements in automatic transmissions, sports car enthusiasts still prefer shifting gears manually.  Every Apple product I’ve owned not only looked good and sounded good, but they also felt good.  And that click sound you hear when you connect the power cord to the MacBook is not an accident.

Great user experiences may be hard to measure tangibly but they can make all the difference.


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


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