IfixitCase study curated by Alex Owen
iFixit is a wiki-based site* that teaches people how to fix their broken products by providing step by step repair guides for a wide verity of items, such as computers, cars white goods and small electronic devices. With the exorbitant costs of official repairs consumers are urged to just throw away the product and replace it yet with an online community forums consumers can extend the life of the product and save unto 70% by doing the repairs themselves. Normally companies won’t allow you to fix products yourself and will often remove warranties and or refuse to help you with parts and advice but this web sight is changing all of that. In response to the ever growing number of people wishing to perform their own repairs countries in Europe such as France have introduced legation that stops business from voiding warranties if an individual has tried to fix the product. With the disposable nature of the current consumer market this concept is helping to reduced the amount of waste that we produced while also empowering consumers to gain a better understanding of their products and how they really work.
*Wiki-Based – a page that can be created and edited by anyone, yet for the information to remain it must be agreed upon by the bulk of the editors.
Why I Selected This Project
Over time products have become less durable and this had forced consumers to replace them more often than ever. Often the cost of fixing a broken product is almost parallel to the cost of replacing yet in most cases the problem is a single part and with some advice an easy fix. I selected the Ifixit web sight as a case study because it provides the knowledge and information that consumers need to save their products from reaching landfill. This pass on of information helps both the consumer save money, increases the products lifespan, reduces the strain on the finite resources and the greater environment.
The Ifixit web sight reframes the concept of consumer products and their lifespan and in doing so reduces the waste produced by both collective society and the individual. (Reduction and Reframing)
The creators empathic approach to the real desires of the consumer is a refreshing change to the nature of the current structure of keeping them in the dark and seeing them as only capable of buying a new object. (Empathy)
Consumers deserve to buy products that are made to last as long as possible and even if they are not designed for durability this web sight provides an element of social justice in the fact it puts the power back into people hands by showing them how to make things last. (Social Justice)
To produce the information and step by step procedures for so many products takes a large amount time and energy, along with this the people with this information could me making a profit of keeping this information to themselves. By freely releasing the information and going to the extent of creating a step by step education blog on a verity of topics there is a large amount of generosity embodied in the concept. (Generosity)
Bunnings hardware company is currently providing a similar service on their web sight and in stores, by providing expert education on how to repair or install a variety of things around the home. By providing this information people can receive a free education on how to repair things rather than just completely replacing them or paying someone els to do it. Although it this concept is not as directly linked to saving products from landfill it dose provide a similar outcome.