Are We User-Friendly?

John G. Swanson
February 5, 2010
THE TALK... | Design & Performance

Filing away materials I collected last month at the International Builders' Show, I came across a press release about a survey of 55+ home buyers, conducted by the National Association of Home Builders and Metropolitan Life.  What caught my eye in the survey was the fact that among 36 features these consumers were asked to rate as "important" in their puchase decision for a new home, "windows that can open easily" scored third.

Some manufacturers have put more emphasis on this in recent years. Milgard has promoted its SmartTouch lock, Marvin has highlighted the easy wash feature of its casements and a host of other companies have moved to upgrade hardware functionality. It seems to me, however, that no manufacturer has really tried to set itself apart from the competition as "the easiest window to open and close."

Maybe that's just too hard to do. But what do you think...does our industry put enough emphasis on ease of operation? Are there things that manufacturers could do to make our products more user-friendly?  That's our poll question of the week.  And, of course, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the topic. What do you hear consumers say about the functionality of windows and doors? Do you see opportunities for value-added sales for windows and doors that are easier to open and close? Email me and let me know.

Do consumers want easy to open products?
Yes, the subject comes up frequently and people would probably like better solutions.
Yes, the subject comes up, but people seem satisfied with available options.
It just doesn't come up as an issue.

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