System requirements aren’t just for software

12Sep07

Most software products do a pretty good job of disclosing their system requirements, like how much memory and what sort of processor you need to make them work.  Even though the terms can get a little obscure, at least the company has made the effort to tell you what’s required.

My experience buying a coffeemaker made me think about system requirements on a more general basis.  While this  trusty appliance easily fits underneath my kitchen cabinet, there isn’t enough room for the lid to open.  So I have to slide it all the way out when I’m adding water or coffee.  The manufacturer obviously knows how big the lid is, so it would make sense for them to provide this valuable info along with other data on the box.

Many products outside the realm of computer software would benefit from a more thoughtful consideration of their system requirements. Things like how close they need to be to a wall outlet, how much clearance you need for the various doors and lids and levers, and what skills and interests you may need to make them work are all quite helpful. This info might be printed on the package itself, listed on an e-commerce site, or highlighted on a store display.  Whatever the form, this practice helps take some of the guesswork out of buying and increases the chance that your customers are getting what they expect.



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