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i've finally found the ultimo mp3 integration for my auto.  i don't have a new car, i don't have an aux jack, and i'm no longer in high school where i care about deep bass or wicked features, my factory stereo works fine thank you very much.  fine, that is, except that i can't play my mass collection of audio (unless i do it 6 CDs at a time).

well, i've found it.  unfortunately the actual store is in atlanta, ga, usa.  a little too far for me to drive and get it installed...so i begin my research of installing it myself (yes, i know i'm about to venture on a bad idea).  the company provided me with the installation manual so i can assess my pre-purchase jitters.  while the end result of the installation looks incredibly wicked cool (the kind that will make the skool kidz say "d00d"), it isn't as easy to install (to the lay person who doesn't install car stereo equipment on a daily basis).

but the company has provided me with some complete expectations post-install.  in a way they're providing me some pre-warnings on my user experience.  here's a choice statement from their guide:

The <productname> module is a very complex piece of hardware that is responsible for very complicated communications between your <mp3 player> and your <car>.  It will not just "work" once you plug it in.  Much like a computer, it requires patience and an understanding of the hardware and its operation to use.  You MUST be patient when operating the integration kit.  The <productname> has a learning curve.

i was laughing.  mother-in-law proof?  um, no.  the words complex, patient, and phrase 'not just work' are repeated...that's a goucher for sure not being mo-in-law proof.  yes, they reall have the word work in quotes.  it is beautiful.

but it makes me think if this is a good user experience or not.  after all, if i acquire the product, the expectations are being set clear for me.  does that make it a good ux?  i think about these scenarios in software development as well, namely in the initial deployment stage.  if companies writing software go out and say "okay, this is a great piece of software, but you have to ensure that your flux capacitor has been modified with the latest plugin and your alarm shields are down -- only after that will things work...be patient" would that enhance their product?

i think sometimes we are limited in scope what we can do in setting ux expectations (clearly this particular manufacturer hasn't ironed out the ideal kinks in their system, or perhaps they have and thus are delivering the best possible solution to us old car dweebs) and our users suffer.  lowest. common. denominator.  if you are developing your solution both technically and how your users will interact with it, you must take into account the turn on experience (or out-of-box experience).  first impressions are said to be lasting ones.  will yours be one?

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