Sometimes, we look back and are unable to answer beyond: “It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.”
When it comes to buying phones, the decision-making process has surely become more difficult. Phones last longer, so a change must be made in a considered manner. Worse, there are so many of the darned things these days. It feels less that they’re marketed and more that they’re 3D-printed.
So I asked my wife, a diehard Samsung Galaxy S7 owner, to talk aloud as she went through the buying process of a new phone on the Verizon website. While I sat on the sofa, took notes and sipped a $3.99 Sauvignon Blanc from Trader Joe’s.
This Won’t Take Long, Will It?
She began like this: “I clicked on the upgrade options and I’m going to choose based mostly on price and the ones I like.”
“But you don’t care about phones, do you?” I asked.
“When I look at them here, I can tell which ones I like.”
Which isn’t dissimilar to her approach on the night we met. Here, though, she explained she’d chosen four phones to be in the final. This was going to be easy.
“I picked two Apples and two Samsungs.”null
“That’s a big boring, isn’t it?” I said. “There must have been other brands there.”
I wanted her to explore, you see. Otherwise, we’d be doing Apple vs Samsung all over again.
“There are things I hadn’t heard of or things I remembered from my youth, like Nokia,” she continued. “There was really stuff I didn’t know. There are 58 items. OnePlus, I don’t even know what that is. What’s OnePlus?”
“It’s a phone brand,” I muttered.
Her freedom of speech continued without stopping: “Kyocera, never heard of it. Palm, didn’t they make those personal service devices, like 20 years ago? Sonim? Never heard of it. Alcatel, never heard of it. Motorola I’ve heard of. LG, they make TVs, which is great but, some of them are expensive. 42 dollars a month? No way.”
She didn’t actually say no way. Her words were a little more descriptive. Then she stopped: “But there’s an LG for $15, perhaps I should look into that.”
A breakthrough moment, surely.
She then dug deeper. She’s a scientist. They do that. And it can take a while.