Almost every pair of jeans I owned over the past decade, the zipper broke long before the rest of the jeans did. And zippers in jeans are notoriously difficult to repair, even when you are an expert tailor. In 2021, I bought a new pair of jeans from a company providing ‘free repairs for life’. This way, I thought, if my zipper goes I can get them to fix it. However, when the jeans arrived, there was no zip. It was a button fly. Old school I thought.
But over time I realised the button fly worked with their business model. Zips break and are hard to fix. Buttons are more durable and a much easier fix. Therefore if you are providing free repairs for life, you want to reduce or remove as many of the weak points in your product that you can. You also think about how to make it easy to repair while designing your product. So it makes sense they ended up using the button fly.
Few digital products offer ‘free repairs for life’, however most digital products need to be repaired. The same is true for services – digital or not. Thinking about repairs in the design stage will add a little time to that stage, but save you and your customers much time in the future. Perhaps you decide too to use a button fly rather than a zip.
The choice is up to you.
Photo by Jason Leung