What's Missing from Sortable's New Consumer Electronics Search Tool
Sortable is a newly launched website that provides an easy way to search through features of consumer electronics to find just the perfect device for you. Visitors can select a type of device including laptops, TVs, cell phones, cameras, and tablets, and hone in on the criteria they care about most. So if you're looking for a phone, you can sort by carrier, brand, battery features, photo and video features and so on. Basically, it makes looking through the hundreds of models on the market and find the one that best suits you.
However, we notice right away that there are some really, really important search features missing that are key in reminding consumers what else is important in looking for a product besides what processor or software it uses.
In the "general" tab, consumers can sort by price, highly rated, or newest. But what about greenest? For instance, Sortable could add search features such as EPEAT Certified, Energy Star Qualified, UL Environment Certified. How about "BFR or PVC-free", "Includes recycled materials," (a great one since several major cell phone manufacturers are touting their eco-friendly phones that use recycled or plant-based plastics), or even "Refurbished."
The fact that important features like this are still missing from new tools like Sortable is a sad sign that green is far from being as mainstream as we want and need. We're hoping that Sortable will add more search features that allow consumers who care about green to best utilize the tool, and that will remind consumers that these are important features to consider in electronics.
Sortable is brand new and looks to be open to feedback, so perhaps they just need some input from conscious consumers like you to help them make their tool more robust (hint hint). After all, the company notes on its About page (where there is also contact information) that 87% of people research products and services online, which means there is a real need and desire for a site like Sortable (clearly -- they have 25,000 Facebook fans and they're on pace for 4 million visits a month). But there is also a real need for getting consumers onboard with green. Tools like Sortable can play a huge role in doing this, and you can play a huge role in getting tools like Sortable on board.
We love the idea of making it easy to search for the best gadget -- we love the idea of making it easy to search for the best green gadget even more.