Friday, February 09, 2007

Simplicity - Rant #1

Well, I'm going to try to stay positive here, because that is a good thing.

Over the last few months, I thought about adding some of my opinions to this site rather than only a few tutorials and pics. So here goes, Rant #1, it's target, Simplicity.

Let's start with a question. There is all this technology in your life today, much more than say 10 years ago, but, is your life simplier now than before?

Is your answer no..? Wasn't the promise of technology to make life simplier for us..? I seem to remember that promise.... Do you remember the term "User Friendly", man we are so far from that concept that nobody even uses that term any more. How can a computer be user friendly when I still have to climb under my desk almost everyday to hook up and disconnect something.

So what went wrong? IMHO many things; feature bloat, awful user interfaces, lack of effective training, and acronymns...:-).... It's like learning a new language... IMHO (In my humble opinion)..Aie.... People, really, let's say once and for all, humans use their computers generally above on top of their desk.

I think everyone can come up with examples of something they simply hate and something they can't live without. For example, I almost dread opening a new gadget these days because I know what's coming, "The Manual". You know when you get down to it, do you think there is something wrong when I have to read a manual to make a phone call..? I have a 200 page manual in my car, but when I picked it up at the dealer, they took 2 minutes to show me a couple of things different about the car and away I went... Only cracked the manual when I had to change the clock for the radio / DVD player (Don't get me started..)

I have to admit though, There are things I can't live without, such as spell check and Google. I could not do my job without spell check. I don't know how I would find answers to things so quickly without a search engine like Google. When I think about it I could probably do without these things but they sure would take a whole lot longer.

Seems to me that we could make our gadgets work in a simple fashion, Spell check is simple, Google is simple, Switching from one car to another is normally simple. Why can't cell phones, digital cameras, and the holy grail of simplicity - computer hardware and software -- be simple.

Just the other day, I picked up my son's iPod, and played back some music, navigated, turned it on and off, all in a few minutes, no frustration, no manual. WOW.

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