In 1985 the Sinclair C5 was launched as the transport of the future.The battery-assisted tricycle was designed as a mode of transport that would work around UK law as it did not require tax or insurance, or even a driving licence.
Sadly the C5 also suffered from problems, largely due to the UK climate:the cold weather shortened battery life and the driver was exposed to the elements. There were also doubts raised about its safety in traffic, due to the driver’s close proximity to the ground.
As a concept,the C5 was incredibly clever. However it didn’t work in practicality, and is now confined to the displays of design museums and the garages of enthusiasts.
So why didn’t it work? The main issue seems to be that all the effort went into the technology, without any real thought of the end user. Losing sight of the ‘customer experience’ is a sure route to failure for any project, even one with the backing of Maggie Philbin and the Tomorrow’s World team.
To be a success, any project needs to be mapped out and the customer considered at every stage. Looking at it logically, a slow-moving open-top vehicle is never going to be a success in the cold and rainy UK. It’s only once you are able to look at an issue with this objective view that you can see where potential issues might be.
In web and application design, the issues are exactly the same. In order for your customer to be able to do what you need them to do, you need to make sure all the steps are mapped out and logical, in an appropriate manner. We are masters at the logical and, despite one of the team owning a C5, would never let a project out of the door that wasn’t entirely fit for purpose.