I was just talking with a friend about a product he thought had an excellent user experience. It is the Vibram FiveFingers shoe. These are really cool looking to me and I can easily see how they might be very comfortable. My friend said that they changed his life. He walks more now, hikes more. He feels more comfortable.
I imediately called my wife and told her that I wanted to buy her a pair. She balked! “No way! They look riddiculous”. I tried it on another woman and got a similar response. Apparently this product, although innovative and interesting, is failing to use Emotional Design principles to turn it into a success.
It’s a difficult hump for Vibram to get over. Until it’s cool, it is clearly uncool. It would take a “fad” of sorts to make it acceptable and then the benefits of comfort would seal the deal. I hope it happens, because proper footwear is the hallmark of a great society. If I were Vibram, I would give it away to cool kids and celebrities. You have got to start a fad. Check out the Tipping Point for exact instructions on how to make this happen. (By the way, I am a size 10.5)
What do you think? Would you wear it?