Monday, August 13, 2007

Form or Function?: Quick Poll

What’s more important when it comes to technology products in the home: form or function? Do you want the best-sounding speaker, or the coolest looking one? The computer that will let you perform the most advanced tasks, or the one that comes in different colours and gorgeous designs? Is the high-fidelity tabletop radio the best one for the kitchen, or the stunning wood-finished model that matches perfectly with the decor?

Of course in a utopian world, we’d have the best function combined with the best design at the most affordable price. But let’s face it: we don’t live in that world. Although I must admit some products come pretty darn close. Take Apple’s iPhone, for example. Aesthetically, there’s no question that it’s a beautiful device. And from what I hear, it’s equally as functional. Bose's QuietComfort 3 noise-canceling headphones have been nothing but a God-send to me, boasting effective noise-cancellation, with a beautiful and comfortable design, long battery life, and a convenient travel case. But sometimes one side of the coin will overshadow the other.

If you had to skimp in one area, as a manufacturer, retailer, or purchasing consumer, would it be form or function? In other words, would you rather a product that sits in your home to look OK and operate fantastically; or one that operates OK but looks absolutely stunning? I guess it depends on the particular product, and how one would define “OK”, but I’m interested to hear reader’s opinions on this topic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think that it's important that a product look good - especially if it will be in plain view in the home. But it MUST also perform well. If it isn't the "best of the best", that's OK. But it needs to be up to snuff performance-wise in order to pass in my books. it doesn't matter how good it looks if it doesn't function well.