Here are my notes of the end of Jesse James Garrett’s keynote. There might be bits and pieces missing and I may have misunderstood things. Thanks for bearing with me.
steph-note: missed the beginning, sorry.
Word Toolbars all turned on sends the following message:
“Word processing is complicated. In fact, it’s so complicated that we, the developers of this tool, haven’t figured it out. So, we’re outsourcing that job (figuring it out) to you, our users.”
Look at video cassette recorders. They’ve come a long way these last 30 years, lots of buttons but… nobody seems to be able to set the clock, still now.
Mentions something Steve Jobs said in 1984.
Beautiful, elegant solution that works.
The product has aesthetic appeal (beautiful), maximises simplicity (elegant), has to address a genuine need/desire (solution) — many startups out there fail because they don’t address a real need — and can be used by its users, not just by us, its creators (that works).
Even MS word has started to get this. They’ve moved beyond toolbars. More simplicity. Not there yet maybe, but real progress. The new interface is much cleaner and simpler.
Last generation of video cassette recorders. Now, we have TiVo. But TiVo was only made possible by really taking a step back. Look at TiVo users: passionate. Users develop an emotional attachment to products which deliver on those four points.
Research seems to show that there is something different happening in our brains when we interact with complex technological tools. steph-note: some variety of pets? Like our interactions with other people, same mechanisms in our brains. We respond to these products as if they were people. We imagine they have personalities, moods… 12-year-old girl who kissed her iPod goodnight before going to bed on the day she got it. Or adults whose iPod breaks, go out and buy a new one, but can’t open the box for two days, because it would mean they have to say good-bye to their old, broken, companion.
iPod case “iGuy”. TiVo logo that has arms and legs.
Products who know who they are, and reflect a consistency in their behaviour.
Experiment: have users try software and evaluate it. One group, user same computer for both tasks. Group 2, different computer. Group 1 were nicer with their feedback, almost as if they didn’t want to hurt the computer’s feelings.
Diamond Rio, first mp3 player commercially available. Looked like a transformative product, so much that the record industries went to court to have it banned in the US. But nobody remembers it! Everybody remembers the iPod as the first mp3 player. Met with a lot of skepticism. (ipod = “idiots price our devices”). Too expensive, not enough features. But actually, it’s a beautiful elegant solution that works.
Developing software applications: we talk about them as data, wrapped in logic, and a user interface. User interface = shell.
But in the minds of our users: there is the user interface, and magic inside.
When we make choices about our products based on things that our users cannot see, we’re going in the wrong direction.
But this is changing. The web (2.0) is leading the way. We make decisions about the user interface first, and allow those decisions to drive technological choices. “Designing from the outside in.” (O’Reilly)
Web 2.0 companies are not being driven by a business or technology strategy, but by an experience strategy.
The experience is the product.
Any technological choices that do not reinforce the experience that we want the users to have of the product are the wrong decision.