I was just noticing that of electronics around my house, they're all not that usable:
  • My alarm clock has nine buttons, knobs and switches--if I hit the wrong one, the clock resets and wakes me up later than I needed.
  • There're seventeen buttons on an answering machine--delete is directly above preview.
  • Nine on the printer, and the only one I've ever used aside from power is the smallest and lodged between others.
  • The VCR, I think, only has five, but all of the options like tracking were on a tiny-buttoned remote that's since broken.
  • I have to turn on six devices to get my comp up & running: tower, monitor, speakers, modem, printer and scanner.
  • I'm not even going to go into the software issues.
I'm realizing that I have entire set routines to counter poor designs and usability problems whenever I use this stuff. Instead of me programming them like I want, they've essentially programmed me, which I resent a little: Why do output devices need so much input? Why so much space given to branding? Why don't they organize it better? Etc.

So, how important is usability, anyway? Is it a primary concern when you buy something? Is price the lead factor? Or marketing?

~~Ian