I am a veteran from the software industry. I have successful and not so successful companies to my credit. During my experiences within the technology industry, I have made several observations that lead me to creating this blog. These observations are roughly summed up by the following sweeping generalizations:
- Most hardware and software devices are not products. They are a series of features jammed into a single device and they lack the necessary thought and finish to make them into well thought out products. EXAMPLE: Product: iPod (product) other MP3 players (devices).
- Good design moves complexity to the background. A great designer thinks about the user and how he/she can make the end user’s life easier and more prodcutive. Great designers leave the complexity of using the technology to the technology, and they do not impose on the user the need to learn an entirely new conceptual model. EXAMPLE: Logitech Harmony Remote Controllers aggregate all device remotes and commands into one simple activty based remote control.
- Good design is the best form of marketing there is. If you design a product (and the experinece around it) well, people will adopt it and become your salesforce. EXAMPLE: Again, the iPod: The uniquely white headphones are a walking “wink” to others that you use an iPod. The more times you see white headphones, the more you realize the ubiquity of the iPod.
- Bad design horribly complicates our lives and we are fed up with it. We need an outlet. Donald Norman was the pioneer of the “Norman Door”, the rest of us need to speak up and remind manufactures that it is not about features, it’s about making products that make our lives simpler and better. EXAMPLE: There isnt a cable TV Channel user interface on the market today that isn’t cumbersome and unweildy. All I want to do is watch TV. I shouldn’t need a 48 button remote to do this.