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14 Aug 2017

Products that Failed due to Poor Product Testing

Products that Failed due to Poor Product Testing

A successful product requires a lot more than innovation. Obviously, it needs to start with ingenuity and a desire to create something unique and useful, but there are many steps to consider before putting it out on the market. Market research is vital – how do you know someone hasn’t got there before you, and if similar products are available what’s your USP? Once you’ve developed a product with promise, then the next crucial stage is product testing to ensure it is safe, reliable and of high quality.

Third party product testing is important for new products and developing existing products. Without rigorous testing, how will you know how tough the product is and how to advise consumers about its use? If you fail to conduct proper testing then you could risk the success of the product or its shelf life.

Here’s a list of some epic product fails you may remember, which probably didn’t take off due to poor product testing.

Microsoft – Bob and Clippy

Of course, Microsoft is one of the biggest tech companies on the globe and is a highly successful enterprise. However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing and Microsoft has released some awful products along the way. First let’s talk about Bob, a ridiculous user interface released in 1995. It was meant to help users navigate their computer but just caused widespread confusion. Office digital assistant Clippy was also a ridiculed product. The paperclip character constantly interrupted users with “helpful tips” as users were trying to create documents. Perhaps with a little more product testing Microsoft would have realised how irritating it was?

Fitbit - Force

The technology behind this wearable tracker was impressive, and consumers initially loved the Fitbit Force – that is, until many of them started to develop rashes and skin blisters. The situation got so bad that the company actually conducted a voluntary recall of the product because of the amount of allergic reactions reported.

Donald Trump – Trump Steaks

Despite what the current US President likes to suggest, the business mogul has actually had plenty of business failures. From casinos to magazines, it’s difficult to choose just one, but his line of steaks launched in 2007 is a good example. Product testing doesn’t always just refer to the product, you have to consider the marketplace too. Trump decided to sell his steaks exclusively in a gadget store, where people did not go to buy steaks. After terrible sales, the product range was pulled after two months.

Whatever you are designing, make sure you test it rigorously before you rush it to market.

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