I’ve learned (from sometimes bitter experience) that there are five golden rules when it comes to technology purchases of any magnitude:
- Don’t impulse buy.
- Buy stuff that has a positive effect on your productivity.
- Set out the minimum spec for what you want at the start of the process (and don’t retro-tinker!)
- Don’t buy without having a hands-on (or if that’s impossible, watch lots of video reviews)
- Get recommendations from friends, your network, or relevant others.
The most important element in any technology purchase is design. It’s extremely unlikely that there is only one example, one model, one company that makes the technology item you wish to purchase. Why is good design important?
- It can make the technology more than the sum of its parts (e.g. iPhone)
- Your quality of life can be negatively impacted if you have to constantly fix things and be frustrated by a poor UI (e.g. Windows)
- Good design can make you more productive – if only through time-saving – and actually improve your quality of life by providing an integrated approach to the way you deal with digital stuff (e.g. Dropbox)
I’m going to apply these 5 golden rules to my next purchase – a point-and-shoot camera. I shall, no doubt, blog my findings.
Image CC BY bfishadow