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Personal Technology Consumers Say, 'Keep it Simple'

Technology companies need to keep it simple when communicating with consumers, a new survey shows. . / Credit: Simplify image via Shutterstock

Technology companies need to keep it simple when communicating with consumers, a new survey shows. Consumers are more interested in learning how personal technology is going to simplify their lives than in hearing a jargon-laden litany of features and functions.

What people want most from their smartphones, tablets, home theater, home appliances and other personal technology is simplicity, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Ketchum, a communications firm. Responses from 6,000 consumers in six countries showed that more people want technology that is easy to use (54 percent) and that will simplify their lives (46 percent) than they want technology that will entertain them (35 percent) or send a signal to the world about whom they are (11 percent).

But personal technology companies are falling down on the job in communicating those kinds of benefits, the survey found. They need to communicate more about experiences, not just features and functions. The study showed that 76 percent of consumers said they are not very satisfied with technology's ability to make their lives simpler.

[Digital Overload: Too Much Technology Takes a Toll]

 "The most surprising finding in the study is the overwhelming desire for simplification," said Esty Pujadas, partner and director of Ketchum’s Global Technology Practice. " It seems counterintuitive when technology is always about being bigger or better or faster, but the data show that what people really want is to understand how all of these devices can get them to their desired experience easily. Manufacturers need to use less so-called 'jargon monoxide' and communicate more about the human experience, not just about the object."

This is particularly true considering that the sheer volume and pace at which new technologies are brought to market can make it hard for people to keep up, Pujadas said.

"With more than 20,000 new items launched at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, for example, it would take someone 55 years to try out one new product each day," he said.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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